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Relationship between Parent-Child Attachment and Problem Behaviors among Chinese Firstborn Children in Family Transitions: A Meta-Analysis

Cong Liu1, Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman1,*, Nur Eva2

1 Education Faculty, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603, Malaysia
2 Psychological Education Faculty, Universitas Negeri Malang, Malang, 65145, Indonesia

* Corresponding Author: Mohd Nazri Abdul Rahman. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Social Stress, Adversity, and Mental Health in Transitional China)

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2023, 25(11), 1161-1172. https://doi.org/10.32604/ijmhp.2023.030324

Abstract

The implementation of China’s three-child fertility policy has led to a notable increase in multiple-child families. Notably, firstborn children experience a significant transition from being an only child to a non-only child. This transition is associated with problematic behaviors, affecting their social adjustment, sibling relationships, and family harmony. Although several studies have examined the relationship between parent-child attachment and problem behaviors exhibited by firstborn children during family transitions, the findings have been inconsistent. Hence, a meta-analytic study was undertaken to elucidate the inconsistencies in this relationship and explore the moderating factors that may contribute to these discrepancies. Using a systematic literature retrieval and screening method, 12 effect sizes were derived from the 10 eligible articles, encompassing a sample size of 5319. The meta-analysis demonstrated a low negative association between parent-child secure attachment and problem behaviors exhibited by firstborn children during family transitions. Furthermore, the present study investigates potential moderator factors, such as children’s age and geographic region, to gain a more nuanced understanding of the relationship. Consequently, the establishment of parent-child attachment relationships has the potential to mitigate problem behaviors observed in first-born children during family transitions. The implications of these findings indicate that parents can nurture secure attachment bonds with their children by demonstrating sensitive responsiveness, employing positive parenting practices, and fostering emotional availability. These efforts contribute to the cultivation of secure internal working models and positive behavioral manifestations within first-born children, which in turn affect their relationships with siblings.

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Cite This Article

Liu, C., Nazri, M., Eva, N. (2023). Relationship between Parent-Child Attachment and Problem Behaviors among Chinese Firstborn Children in Family Transitions: A Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 25(11), 1161–1172.



cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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