Beliefs in the Legitimacy of Decision Authority Among Chinese Adolescents and Parents: A Person-Centered Approach

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The present study examined Chinese parents' and adolescents' beliefs in the legitimacy of decision authority with reference to specific issues from the prudential, conventional, multifaceted, and personal domains. The sample included 698 adolescents aged 12–15 and their parents from southern China. Parents and adolescents reported on their own beliefs respectively. Subgroups of parent and adolescent participants characterized by distinct patterns of beliefs across issues were identified with latent class analyses (LCA). Further, configural frequency analyses (CFA) were conducted to examine the match between parent subgroups and adolescent subgroups. In addition, the LCA-derived subgroups varied across residency status, sibling status, and child gender, and were linked to adolescent depressive symptoms and school misconduct. These associations with external variables provided evidence for the distinctiveness of the latent classes. Results were discussed in light of social domain theory and the socio-historical context where the participants were situated.

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