ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (2): 238-251.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00238

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Effects of Parental Support, Friendship Quality on Loneliness and Depression: To Test An Indirect Effect Model

TIAN Lumei;ZHANG Wenxin;CHEN Guanghui   

  1. School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
  • Received:2013-03-08 Published:2014-02-25 Online:2014-02-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Wenxin


Rubin et al. (2004) indicated that at least three linking ways might exist in the relationships between emotional adjustment and child-parent relationships and friendship quality: an independence model, an interaction model, and an indirect effect model. The indirect effect model, however, has stayed to be a theoretical hypothesis and lacked enough empirical evidence. Furthermore, it is possibly different when applied to different emotional problems (e.g., loneliness vs depression), developmental stages and genders. Thus, the present study explored the validity and applicability of the indirect effect model. A total of 560 students from grade 5 (late childhood), grade 7 (early adolescence), and grade 10 (middle adolescence) were surveyed with questionnaires, including the Chinese versions of Network of Relationships Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985), Peer Nomination Questionnaire, the Friendship Quality Questionnaire (Parker & Asher, 1993), the Loneliness Scale (Asher, Hymel, & Renshaw, 1984)), and the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992). Among them, each of 458 participants had at least one mutual best same-sex friend. At last, the present study conducted correlation analyses, structural equation modeling and its multiple-group analyses mainly on their data using SPSS 13.0 and Amos 7.0. The main findings were as follows: (1) overall, the indirect effect model was found to be significant, parental support negatively affected the participants’ loneliness and depression both directly and indirectly via friendship quality; (2) in terms of emotional adjustment problems, the indirect effect model was significant for both loneliness and depression, but it was more applicable to predict loneliness; (3) from the aspect of developmental stage, the indirect effect model was applicable to both late childhood and early adolescence, particularly to late childhood; (4) from the gender perspective, the indirect effect model was applicable to both boys and girls, particularly to boys. These results suggest that parental support and friendship quality influence emotional adjustments by way of an indirect effect model, i.e., parental support can influence emotional adjustments via friendship quality, whereas the applicability of this model is different in terms of different emotional problems, developmental stages, and genders.

Key words: parental support, friendship quality, loneliness, depression, the indirect effect model