This research examined the role of children's decision-making autonomy in their emotional functioning during early adolescence in the United States and China. Four times over the 7th and 8th grades, 825 American and Chinese children (M = 12.73 years) reported on the extent to which they versus their parents make decisions about issues children often deem as under their authority. Children also reported on their emotional functioning. American children made greater gains over time in decision-making autonomy than did Chinese children. Initial decision-making autonomy predicted enhanced emotional functioning similarly among American and Chinese children. However, gains over time in decision-making autonomy predicted enhanced emotional functioning more in the United States (vs. China) where such gains were normative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology