Maternal Involvement in Children’s Leisure Activities in Rural China: Relations With Adjustment Outcomes

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Abstract

This 1-year longitudinal study examined maternal involvement in children’s leisure activities and its relations with children’s adjustment in rural China. Participants included 184 children (93 boys and 91 girls) initially in third grade (mean age = 9.31 years). Children were asked to report the frequencies of mothers’ involvement in leisure activities. Information on children’s social, school, and psychological adjustment were collected from multiple sources including peer evaluations, teacher ratings, self-reports, and school records. The results showed that children’s perceptions of maternal involvement in leisure activities positively predicted later social and school adjustment, particularly in boys. Furthermore, child initial adjustment status moderated the relations between maternal leisure activity involvement and child outcomes. The results suggest that maternal involvement in children’s leisure activities, which has traditionally been neglected in the society, is a significant factor in contributing to child development in today’s rural China.

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