ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (8): 1342-1353.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.01342

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How parental coping socialization influences the adjustment of children and adolescents: Perspectives from long-term and real-time timelines

HE Ting1, HU Huinan2, QIAO Lu2, YANG Liangliang3, LI Mingying4, LIN Xiuyun2   

  1. School of Psychology, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China; 
    Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China; 
    Haidian District Huayuan Road School District Management Center, Beijing 100080, China;
    Dongfeng Road Primary School, Xiushan County, Chongqing 409900, China
  • Received:2023-08-06 Online:2024-08-15 Published:2024-06-05

Abstract: Parental coping socialization encompasses the interactive process through which parents impart cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies to their offspring, aiming to equip them with the essential abilities to effectively manage and navigate challenging situations. Empirical research, considering perspectives such as long-term developmental timelines, real-time contexts, and their integrations, has explored the implications of parental coping socialization, revealing its unique effects on the child adjustment. However, current theories encounter two main shortcomings. Firstly, existing theoretical models primarily articulate the role of parental coping socialization from the perspective of children, which fails to fully capture the mechanisms through which parents contribute to child adjustment. Actually, child adjustment is determined by the dyadic interaction process between parents and children, whereby the developmental and transformative processes of parent-child interaction ultimately result in qualitative changes in child adjustment. From this perspective, the dyadic interaction between parents and children uniquely contributes to the coping socialization process. Secondly, although existing theories and empirical research failed to differentiate long-term and real-time timelines, which is necessary for understanding the process of coping socialization. Socialization is not a one-time event; rather, it involves a continuous process of long-term developmental changes and real-time interactions. The process of coping socialization exists on both the long-term and real-time timelines, with both interrelatedness and differences between them.
The present study proposes an integrative model, the dynamic process model of coping socialization. This model integrates existing coping socialization process models and the parenting × stress amplification/differentiation effects model, incorporating dynamic systems theory to provide a comprehensive understanding from both macro and micro perspectives. Drawing from integrated theoretical frameworks and related research, this model considers antecedents/moderators from the perspectives of parental factors, child factors, and characteristics of stressors. These factors act as predictors affecting parental coping socialization, child coping processes, and their adjustment. Moreover, they serve as moderators influencing the strength and direction of the relationships between parental coping socialization, child coping processes, and adjustment.
With regard to the potential mechanisms, the model focuses on both the role of parental daily coping socialization, as emphasized in previous research, and highlights the effects of real-time dyadic coping interactions on child adjustment from a dynamic perspective. Firstly, based on the coping socialization process model and relevant empirical research, the model suggests that child coping processes may serve as a critical mechanism through which parental coping socialization influence child adjustment. Secondly, according to dynamic systems theory, the model hypothesizes that within real-time coping interactions, parental coping socialization directly influences child real-time coping processes and also indirectly affects their real-time performance through parent-child behavioral, physiological, and neural synchrony. These effects persistently impact child long-term developmental outcomes.
Concerning the relationships between processes across different timelines, the long-term developmental timeline and the real-time timeline are interrelated and mutually influential in three aspects. Firstly, parental coping socialization exists correlation across the two timelines. Secondly, child coping processes across the two timelines are interconnected. Thirdly, parental coping socialization on the long-term developmental timeline could indirectly predict child daily and real-time coping processes through real-time dyadic synchrony, ultimately affecting child long-term adjustment. The real-time timeline serves as a tangible manifestation of the long-term developmental timeline, wherein the latter represents the cumulative outcome of the former. Together, they significantly impact child adjustment.
Future research should investigate the universality of parental coping socialization effects, delving deeper into the mechanisms by which parental coping socialization influences children and adolescents' adjustment and their bidirectional relationships. This knowledge would provide a scientific basis for applying and promoting parental coping socialization in family education and clinical interventions.

Key words: parental coping socialization, children and adolescents' adjustment, dynamic process model of coping socialization, long-term developmental timelines, real-time situational timelines

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