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Peer Victimization, Maternal Control, And Adjustment Problems Among Left-Behind Adolescents From Father-Migrant/Mother Caregiver Families

Authors Xiong Y, Wang H, Wang Q, Liu X

Received 12 June 2019

Accepted for publication 30 August 2019

Published 9 October 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 961—971

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S219249

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Einar Thorsteinsson


Yuke Xiong, Hui Wang, Quanquan Wang, Xia Liu

Institute of Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Xia Liu
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, People’s Republic of China
Tel + 86 10 135 8166 2331
Fax + 86 10 58806819
Email liuxia@bnu.edu.cn

Background: Left-behind adolescents who are from father-migrant/mother caregiver families have become the main type of left-behind children in China. The migratory of fathers not only makes left-behind adolescents suffer more difficulties but also causes left-behind women to face the challenge of raising the child alone. This study examined the association among peer victimization, maternal psychological control, and adjustment problems among Chinese rural left-behind adolescents. Furthermore, we first explored the moderating role of maternal behavioral control in this relationship.
Methods: Using cross-sectional design, we recruited 194 left-behind adolescents (49% girls; mean age = 13.51, SD = 1.03) from four junior schools in the Guizhou province of China. Left-behind adolescents completed a battery of self-report questionnaires regarding peer victimization, maternal control, self-injury behaviors, depression, and loneliness.
Results: The hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that both peer victimization and maternal psychological control were positively associated with self-injury behaviors, depression, and loneliness. Moreover, maternal behavioral control played a dual role in the impact of peer victimization on self-injury behaviors depending on the levels of maternal psychological control. When left-behind women exerted high psychological control on their children, maternal behavioral control buffered the negative effect of peer victimization on self-injury behaviors. However, when left-behind women exerted low psychological control on their children, maternal behavioral control exacerbated the negative effect of peer victimization on self-injury behaviors.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the effectiveness of behavioral control may depend on different situations, left-behind women should be cautious in exerting behavioral control over their children.

Keywords: left-behind adolescents, peer victimization, psychological control, behavioral control, psychological adjustment

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