Stability and Change in Adjustment Profiles Among Chinese American Adolescents: The Role of Parenting

Su Yeong Kim, Yijie Wang, Yishan Shen, Yang Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Asian American adolescents are often depicted as academically successful but psychologically distressed, a pattern known as the achievement/adjustment paradox. In a sample of 444 Chinese American adolescents (54 % females), we identified three distinct patterns of adjustment in early adolescence, middle adolescence, and emerging adulthood: the well-adjusted group, which was the largest, exhibited high achievement and low psychological distress; the poorly-adjusted group exhibited poor achievement and moderate distress; and the paradox group exhibited relatively high achievement and high distress. More than half of the adolescents remained in the same profile over time. Adolescents with supportive parents were more likely to stay well-adjusted, and those with “tiger” parents were more likely to stay in the paradox group over time. The present study focused on the critical role of parenting in early adolescence, highlighting variations in Chinese American adolescents’ adjustment in multiple domains over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1735-1751
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Achievement-adjustment paradox
  • Chinese American
  • Parenting
  • Stability and change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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