Mothers' Goals for Adolescents in the United States and China: Content and Transmission

Yang Qu, Eva M. Pomerantz, Ciping Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examined children's socialization toward culturally valued goals during adolescence in the United States and China. Two hundred and twenty-three mothers listed and ranked their five most important goals for their children (mean age = 12.85 years). Children ranked the importance of the goals listed by their mothers and explained why they were or were not important to them. American mothers placed heightened emphasis on their children maintaining feelings of worth and pursuing what they enjoy. Chinese mothers stressed their children achieving outcomes, as did African American mothers. European American children's rankings of importance were the least similar to those of their mothers, and they gave the fewest autonomous reasons for importance, suggesting that their adoption of mothers' goals was weakest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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