Child routines mediate the relationship between parenting and social-emotional development in Chinese children

Lixin Ren*, Bi Ying Hu, Zhanmei Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The positive role of routines in the social-emotional development of children has received theoretical and empirical support in the Western research literature on the topic. However, the role of child routines has rarely been examined in non-Western cultures. Using data collected from 228 Chinese parents of second grade children, this study first examined the psychometric properties of the Child Routines Inventory. The instrument exhibited sound construct validity as well as reliability. Next, we examined whether child routines mediated the relationships between parenting practices and children's social skills and behavioral problems using structural equation modeling. The results showed that child routines fully mediated the relations between authoritative parenting and social-emotional functioning in children. The children with parents who employed higher levels of authoritative parenting were found to have more consistent routines. In turn, these children exhibited greater social skills and fewer behavioral problems. These findings offer preliminary evidence that child routines play a critical role in the social-emotional development of Chinese children, suggesting the need to include child routines in prevention and intervention programs aimed at enhancing social-emotional outcomes in Chinese children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral problems
  • Child routines
  • Chinese parenting practices
  • Elementary school students
  • Social skills


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