Skip to main content Accessibility help

Longitudinal effects of maternal love withdrawal and guilt induction on Chinese American preschoolers’ bullying aggressive behavior

  • Jing Yu (a1), Charissa S. L. Cheah (a2), Craig H. Hart (a3), Chongming Yang (a4) and Joseph A. Olsen (a4)...


Bullying has been understudied among preschool children, especially those from Chinese American families. Previous research has also neglected the dimensional effects of psychological control on child bullying development. This study examined two psychological control dimensions, love withdrawal and guilt induction, and their effects on children's bullying aggressive behavior using a longitudinal design. Participants were first-generation Chinese American mothers (N = 133; mean age [Mage] = 37.82) and their preschool children (Mage = 4.48). Chinese immigrant mothers reported their psychologically controlling parenting and teachers rated children's bullying aggressive behaviors in the school setting. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to establish the psychometric properties and cross-wave measurement equivalence of the study constructs. Cross-lagged structural equation modeling analysis indicated that maternal love withdrawal prospectively predicted more bullying aggressive behavior, whereas guilt induction predicted less bullying aggressive behavior in children 6 months later. These results held after controlling for the initial level of children's problem behaviors and demographic variables (child age, gender, and maternal education). For child effects, child bullying aggressive behavior predicted more maternal guilt induction over time but not love withdrawal. Our findings highlight the importance of construct specificity and cultural context in understanding associations between parenting and child development.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Charissa S. L. Cheah, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250; E-mail:


Hide All
Albrecht, A. K., Galambos, N. L., & Jansson, S. M. (2007). Adolescents’ internalizing and aggressive behaviors and perceptions of parents’ psychological control: A panel study examining direction of effects. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36, 673684. doi: 10.1007/s10964-007-9191-5
Aunola, K., Tolvanen, A., Viljaranta, J., & Nurmi, J. E. (2013). Psychological control in daily parent–child interactions increases children's negative emotions. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 453462. doi: 10.1037/a0032891
Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67, 32963319. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01915.x
Bowes, L., Arseneault, L., Maughan, B., Taylor, A., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2009). School, neighborhood, and family factors are associated with children's bullying involvement: A nationally representative longitudinal study. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 545553. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e31819cb017
Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent–child attachment and healthy human development. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Casas, J. F., Weigel, S. M., Crick, N. R., Ostrov, J. M., Woods, K. E., Yeh, E. A. J., & Huddleston-Casas, C. A. (2006). Early parenting and children's relational and physical aggression in the preschool and home contexts. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 209227. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2006.02.003
Cheah, C., & Rubin, K. (2004). European American and Mainland Chinese mothers’ responses to aggression and social withdrawal in preschoolers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 28, 8394. doi: 10.1080/01650250344000299
Crick, N. R., Casas, J. F., & Mosher, M. (1997). Relational and overt aggression in preschool. Developmental Psychology, 33, 579588. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.33.4.579
Curtner-Smith, M., Smith, P.K., & Porter, M. (2010). Family-level intervention with bullies and victims. In Vernberg, E. & Biggs, (Eds.), Preventing and treating bullying and victimization (pp. 75106). New York: Oxford University Press.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227268. doi: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01
Dix, T. (1992). Parenting on behalf of the child: Empathic goals in the regulation of responsive parenting. In Sigel, I. E., McGillicuddy-DeLisi, A. V., Goodnow, J. J., Sigel, I. E., McGillicuddy-DeLisi, A. V., & Goodnow, J. J. (Eds.), Parental belief systems: The psychological consequences for children, 2nd ed. (pp. 319346). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Farrington, D. P., Ttofi, M. M., & Lösel, F. (2011). School bullying and later criminal offending. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 21, 7779. doi: 10.1002/cbm.807
Fu, A. S., & Markus, H. R. (2014). My mother and me: Why tiger mothers motivate Asian Americans but not European Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 739749. doi: 10.1177/0146167214524992
Fung, J., & Lau, A. S. (2012). Tough love or hostile domination? Psychological control and relational induction in cultural context. Journal of Family Psychology, 26, 966975. doi: 10.1037/a0030457
Gower, A. L., Lingras, K. A., Mathieson, L. C., Kawabata, Y., & Crick, N. R. (2014). The role of preschool relational and physical aggression in the transition to kindergarten: links with social-psychological adjustment. Early Education and Development, 25, 619640. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2014.844058
Greenfield, P. M., Keller, H., Fuligni, A., & Maynard, A. (2003). Cultural pathways through universal development. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 461490. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.54.101601.145221
Grusec, J. E. (2008). What is the nature of effective parenting? It depends. In Kerr, M., Stattin, H., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (Eds.), What can parents do? New insights into the role of parents in adolescent problem behavior (pp. 240257). West-Sussex, England: Wiley.
Hart, C. H., Ladd, G. W., & Burleson, B. R. (1990). Children's expectations of the outcomes of social strategies: Relations with sociometric status and maternal disciplinary styles. Child Development, 61, 127137. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1990.tb02766.x
Hart, C. H., Nelson, D. A., Robinson, C. C., Olsen, S. F., & McNeilly-Choque, M. K. (1998). Overt and relational aggression in Russian nursery-school-age children: Parenting style and marital linkages. Developmental Psychology, 34, 687697. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.34.4.687
Hart, C. H., & Robinson, C. C. (1996). Teacher Behavior Rating Scale. Unpublished teacher questionnaire, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
Hartup, W. W. (1974). Aggression in childhood: Developmental perspectives. American Psychologist, 29, 336341. doi: 10.1037/h0037622
Hastings, P. D., & Grusec, J. E. (1998). Parenting goals as organizers of responses to parent–child disagreement. Developmental Psychology, 34, 465479. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.34.3.465
Haynie, D. L., Nansel, T., Eitel, P., Crump, A. D., Saylor, K., Yu, K., & Simons-Morton, B. (2001). Bullies, victims, and bully/victims: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 2949. doi: 10.1177/0272431601021001002
Ho, D. Y. F., Fu, W., & Ng, S. M. (2004). Guilt, shame and embarrassment: Revelations of face and self. Culture & Psychology, 10, 6484. doi: 10.1177/1354067X04044166
Hoffman, M. L., & Saltzstein, H. D. (1967). Parent discipline and the child's moral development. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 4557. doi: 10.1037/h0024189
Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1998). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 155. doi: 10.1080/10705519909540118
Huitsing, G., & Monks, C. P. (2018). Who victimizes whom and who defends whom? A multivariate social network analysis of victimization, aggression, and defending in early childhood. Aggressive Behavior, 44, 294405. doi: 10.1002/ab.21760
Juvonen, J., Graham, S., & Schuster, M. A. (2003). Bullying among young adolescents: The strong, the weak, and the troubled. Pediatrics, 112, 12311237. doi: 10.1542/peds.112.6.1231
Kochanska, G. (1993). Toward a synthesis of parental socialization and child temperament in early development of conscience. Child Development, 64, 325347. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1993.tb02913.x
Kretschmer, T., Veenstra, R., Deković, M., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2017). Bullying development across adolescence, its antecedents, outcomes, and gender-specific patterns. Development and Psychopathology, 29, 941955. doi: 10.1017/S0954579416000596
Kumpfer, K., Magalhães, C., & Xie, J. (2017). Cultural adaptation and implementation of family evidence-based interventions with diverse populations. Prevention Science, 18, 649659. doi: 10.1007/s11121-016-0719-3
Kuppens, S., Grietens, H., Onghena, P., & Michiels, D. (2009). Relations between parental psychological control and childhood relational aggression: Reciprocal in nature? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 38, 117131. doi: 10.1080/15374410802575354
Lereya, S. T., Samara, M., & Wolke, D. (2013). Parenting behavior and the risk of becoming a victim and a bully/victim: A meta-analysis study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37, 10911108. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.03.001
Limber, S. P., Olweus, D., & Luxenberg, H. (2013). Bullying in US schools: 2012 status report. Center City, MN: Hazelden Foundation.
Little, R. J. A. (1988). A test of missing completely at random for multivariate data with missing values. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 83, 11981202. doi: 10.1080/01621459.1988.10478722
McCabe, K. (2012). Chinese immigrants in the United States. Migration Information Source (ISSN No. 1946-40370). Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.
Michiels, D., Grietens, H., Onghena, P., & Kuppens, S. (2008). Parent-child interactions and relational aggression in peer relationships. Developmental Review, 28, 522540. doi: 10.1016/j.dr.2008.08.002
Monks, C. P., & Smith, P. K. (2006). Definitions of bullying: Age differences in understanding of the term, and the role of experience. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 801821. doi: 10.1348/026151005X82352
Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2012). Mplus user's guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.
Nelson, D. A., & Coyne, S. M. (2009). Children's intent attributions and feelings of distress: Associations with maternal and paternal parenting practices. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 223237. doi: 10.1007/s10802-008-9271-3
Nelson, D. A., Coyne, S. M., Swanson, S. M., Hart, C. H., & Olsen, J. A. (2014). Parenting, relational aggression, and borderline personality features: Associations over time in a Russian longitudinal sample. Development and Psychopathology, 26, 773787. doi: 10.1017/S0954579414000388
Nelson, D. A., Hart, C. H., Yang, C., Olsen, J. A., & Jin, S. (2006). Aversive parenting in China: Associations with child physical and relational aggression. Child Development, 77, 554572. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00890.x
Nelson, D. A., Mitchell, C., & Yang, C. (2008). Intent attributions and aggression: A study of children and their parents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 793806. doi: 10.1007/s10802-007-9211-7
Nelson, D. A., Yang, C., Coyne, S. M., Olsen, J. A., & Hart, C. H. (2013). Parental psychological control dimensions: Connections with Russian preschoolers’ physical and relational aggression. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34, 18. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2012.07.003
Olsen, S. F., Yang, C., Hart, C. H., Robinson, C. C., Wu, P., Nelson, D. A., … Wo, J. (2002). Maternal psychological control and preschool children's behavioral outcomes in China, Russia, and the United States. In Barber, B. K. (Ed.), Intrusive parenting: How psychological control affects children and adolescents (pp. 235262). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Olweus, D. (1993). Bullies on the playground: The role of victimization. In Hart, C.H. (Ed.), Children on playgrounds: Research perspectives and applications (pp. 85128). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Pena, E. D. (2007). Lost in translation: Methodological considerations in cross-cultural research. Child Development, 78, 12551264. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01064.x
Price, J. M., & Dodge, K. A. (1989). Reactive and proactive aggression in childhood: Relations to peer status and social context dimensions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 455471. doi: 10.1007/BF00915038
Rajendran, K., Kruszewski, E., & Halperin, J. M. (2016). Parenting style influences bullying: A longitudinal study comparing children with and without behavioral problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 188195. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12433
Revelle, W., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2009). Coefficients alpha, beta, omega, and the glb: Comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika, 74, 145154. doi: 10.1007/s11336-008-9102-z
Rohner, R. P., Khaleque, A., & Cournoyer, D. E. (2005). Parental acceptance-rejection: Theory, methods, cross-cultural evidence, and implications. Ethos, 33, 299334. doi: 10.1525/eth.2005.33.3.299
Rote, W. M., & Smetana, J. G. (2017). Situational and structural variation in youth perceptions of maternal guilt induction. Developmental Psychology, 53, 1940. doi: 10.1037/dev0000396
Rubin, K. H., Coplan, R. J., & Bowker, J. C. (2009). Social withdrawal in childhood. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 141171. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163642
Rudy, D., & Halgunseth, L. C. (2005). Psychological control, maternal emotion and cognition, and child outcomes in individualist and collectivist groups. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 5, 237264. doi: 10.1300/J135v05n04_04
Rudy, D., Carlo, G., Lambert, M. C., & Awong, T. (2014). Undergraduates’ perceptions of parental relationship-oriented guilt induction versus harsh psychological control: Does cultural group status moderate their associations with self-esteem? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45, 905920. doi: 10.1177/0022022114532354
Salmivalli, C. (2010). Bullying and the peer group: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15, 112120. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2009.08.007
Salmivalli, C., Peets, K., Hodges, E.V.E. (2011). Bullying. In Smith, P.K. & Hart, C.H. (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of childhood social development (pp. 510511). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
Soenens, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Goosens, L., Duriez, B. & Niemiec, C. P. (2008). The intervening role of relational aggression between psychological control and friendship quality. Social Development, 17, 661681. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2007.00454.x
Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Briggs, R. D., McClowry, S. G., & Snow, D. L. (2009). Maternal control and sensitivity, child gender, and maternal education in relation to children's behavioral outcomes in African American families. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30, 321331. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.018.
US Census Bureau. (2016). Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2016. Retrieved from
van Noorden, T. H., Haselager, G. J., Lansu, T. A., Cillessen, A. H., & Bukowski, W. M. (2016). Attribution of human characteristics and bullying involvement in childhood: Distinguishing between targets. Aggressive Behavior, 42, 394403. doi: 10.1002/ab.21634
Vlachou, M., Andreou, E., Botsoglou, K., & Didaskalou, E. (2011). Bully/victim problems among preschool children: A review of current research evidence. Educational Psychology Review, 23, 329358. doi: 10.1007/s10648-011-9153-z
Winsler, A., Madigan, A. L., & Aquilino, S. A. (2005). Correspondence between maternal and paternal parenting styles in early childhood. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 20, 112. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2005.01.007
Wolke, D., & Samara, M. M. (2004). Bullied by siblings: Association with peer victimisation and behaviour problems in Israeli lower secondary school children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 10151029. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.t01-1-00293.x
Wolke, D., Woods, S., Bloomfield, L., & Karstadt, L. (2000). The association between direct and relational bullying and behaviour problems among primary school children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 9891002.
Wu, P., Robinson, C. C., Yang, C., Hart, C. H., Olsen, S. F., Porter, C. L., … & Wu, X. (2002). Similarities and differences in mothers' parenting of preschoolers in China and the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 481491. doi: 10.1080/01650250143000436
Yu, J., Cheah, C. S. L., Hart, C. H., Sun, S., & Olsen, J. A. (2015). Confirming the multidimensionality of psychologically controlling parenting among Chinese-American mothers. Love withdrawal, guilt induction, and shaming. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 39, 285292. doi: 10.1177/0165025414562238
Yu, J., Cheah, C. S., Hart, C. H., & Yang, C. (2018). Child inhibitory control and maternal acculturation moderate effects of maternal parenting on Chinese American children's adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 54, 11111123. doi: 10.1037/dev0000517
Yu, J., Sun, S., & Cheah, C. S. L. (2016). Multi-trait multi-method analysis of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in Asian-American preschoolers. Assessment, 23, 603613. doi: 10.1177/1073191115586459


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Longitudinal effects of maternal love withdrawal and guilt induction on Chinese American preschoolers’ bullying aggressive behavior

  • Jing Yu (a1), Charissa S. L. Cheah (a2), Craig H. Hart (a3), Chongming Yang (a4) and Joseph A. Olsen (a4)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.