Warm and Harsh Parenting, Self-Kindness and Self-Judgment, and Well-Being : An Examination of Developmental Differences in a Large Sample of Adolescents

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


  • Yizhen Ren
  • Xinli Chi
  • Liuyue Huang
  • Shaofan Wang
  • Ying Zhang
  • Di Zeng
  • Hao Shan
  • Can Jiao


Original languageEnglish
Article number406
Journal / PublicationChildren
Issue number2
Online published19 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023



Objectives: This study aimed to examine the associations between warm and harsh parenting and adolescent well-being, and the mediating effects of self-kindness and self-judgment, in relationships. Moreover, this study investigated developmental differences across three adolescence stages (early, middle, and late). Methods: In total, 14,776 Chinese adolescents (mean age = 13.53 ± 2.08, 52.3% males), including individuals in early (10–12 years old, N = 5055), middle (13–15 years old, N = 6714), and late adolescence (16–18 years old, N = 3007) participated in this study. All the adolescents rated their levels of warm and harsh parenting, self-kindness and self-judgment, and well-being. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was adopted to examine the mediation model. Multi-group analysis was conducted to investigate differences in the mediation model across the different developmental stages. Results: Both warm and harsh parenting were related to adolescent well-being through the mediating effects of self-kindness and self-judgment. However, warm parenting exerted a more substantial impact on adolescent well-being. Self-kindness had a more robust mediating effect than self-judgment in relationships. Moreover, harsh parenting had a weaker impact on adolescent well-being in late adolescence than in early and middle adolescence. Warm parenting had a more significant impact on adolescent well-being in early adolescence than in middle and late adolescence. Conclusions: Overall, warm parenting had a more substantial effect than harsh parenting on adolescent well-being. The findings also highlighted the crucial mediating effect of self-kindness in the relationships between parenting and well-being. Moreover, this study also indicated the importance of warm parenting in early adolescence. Intervention programs should focus on enhancing the level of warm parenting to promote self-kindness in adolescents, in order to improve their well-being. © 2023 by the authors.

Research Area(s)

  • adolescent well-being, harsh parenting, self-judgment, self-kindness, warm parenting

Citation Format(s)

Download Statistics

No data available