Flourishing of rural adolescents in China : A moderated mediation model of social capital and intrinsic motivation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number8158
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
Online published1 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021



Flourishing, an indicator which reflects one’s emotional status and ability to function, is an important antecedent for adolescents’ later psychological and physical development. This study aimed to shift the research focus on rural adolescents from a deficit-based orientation to a strength-based orientation by integrating the effects of individual and social factors. Altogether, 995 Chinese rural adolescents (569 boys and 426 girls, Mage = 12.56 years) completed a self-report questionnaire which included the Ego Identity Scale, Intrinsic Motivation Scale, Social Capital Scale and Flourishing Scale. The results indicate that: (1) ego identity exploration has a positive effect on rural adolescents’ flourishing; (2) intrinsic motivation has an indirect effect on the relationship between ego identity exploration and flourishing; and (3) social capital may moderate the indirect effect by attenuating the relationship between ego identity exploration and intrinsic motivation. The findings highlight the importance of constructing a more comprehensive framework by integrating individual and social perspectives to understand and foster the flourishing of rural adolescents. Meanwhile, it is necessary to incorporate the strengths of family, school and social organizations in order to enhance rural adolescents’ flourishing.

Research Area(s)

  • Adolescents, Flourishing, Intrinsic motivation, Rural areas, Social capital

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