Parental autonomy support, grit, and psychological adjustment in Chinese adolescents from divorced families.

A large body of research has shown that parental divorce is linked to youths’ psychological adjustment in Western societies, but less is known about how this life event may impact on adolescents living in the Chinese cultural context, which highlights losing face and dignity. The current study aimed to examine the relationship between parental autonomy support and psychological adjustment in middle to late adolescents from divorced and intact families in China, postulating moderation by grit. Participants were 210 adolescents (67.1% girls) from divorced families and 420 adolescents (58.6% girls) from intact families, aged between 14 and 18 years, who completed a questionnaire survey. Results indicated that adolescents from divorced families reported more problem behavior and less prosocial behavior than their peers from intact families. In regression analyses, grit moderated the association between parental autonomy support and prosocial behavior. Specifically, gritty adolescents were engaged in more prosocial activities than their nongritty peers when autonomy support was high. Furthermore, adolescents from divorced families fared less well when autonomy support was low. Chinese families may benefit from interventions focusing on the enhancement of both parental autonomy support and adolescents’ self-regulatory skills to boost psychological adjustment in postdivorce settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)