Gansu Survey of Children and Families Papers


Adversity and internalizing problems among rural Chinese adolescents: The roles of parents and teachers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Reprinted from International Journal of Behavioral Development 37, no. 6 (2013): 530-541.

Publisher URL:


Throughout the developing world, adolescents living in rural poverty face multiple and inter-related adaptive challenges. Using longitudinal data from the Gansu Survey of Children and Families, we adopt an approach grounded in resilience theory to investigate the relationship between cumulative adversity and internalizing problems among 1,659 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 years in an interior Chinese province. We also investigate the compensatory roles of parental warmth and teacher support. Results of multivariate regression models suggest that internalizing problems increased in later adolescence in this sample. The rate of increase did not differ by gender, counter to most extant literature on sex differences in the developmental trajectory of internalizing problems. Along with parental warmth, teacher support emerged as an especially important compensatory factor, highlighting the significance of teachers as an often overlooked resource for poor rural adolescents.


adolescents, adversity, China, internalizing problems, parental warmth, teacher support



Date Posted: 24 April 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.