Chinese high school students' self-esteem is boosted because of good relations with peers rather than parents, suggests a new study.
However, it's the opposite that holds true for younger adolescents and young adults, whose self-esteem is based more on good relations with parents, the study found.
Led by Hairong Song, a doctoral candidate in psychology, Emilio Ferrer-Caja, an associate professor of psychology, and Ross Thompson, a professor of psychology, the study is titled "Cognitive and Sociocognitive Development."
"This study suggests that high school is a period of special challenge to Chinese adolescents because of the competitive academic pressures they face. High school is a time when many Chinese adolescents experience intense pressures from parents to perform well in school," said Thompson.
He added: "Even in a society that traditionally emphasizes family ties, enhanced by the government's one-child policy, competition to get into the best universities may be causing high-schoolers to turn to their peers for support and affirmation."
The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston.