Social Capital, Resilience and Self-Efficacy in Promoting Psychosocial Development Among Senior Middle School Students in Zhongshan, China

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 3:15 PM
Room: F205
Oral Presentation
Ying LIU , Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
Although social capital theory has been widely applied in western countries to investigate positive factors to children and youth’s development outcomes, little attempt has been made to test the applicability of social capital theory to adolescents in mainland China, especially for those who are after the compulsory education in medium-sized cities. This research aims at understanding whether and how social capital from the family, school, peer, and community contexts relate to the psychosocial development of senior middle school students, and whether and how resilience and self-efficacy could serve as mediators for the relation between various forms of social capital and development outcomes. 231 senior middle school students in Zhongshan participated in the survey. Results show that school quality concerning students’ interaction to school and teachers display significantly positive relation with adolescents’ mental health, behavior adjustment, clear and positive identity, but not with students’ social capacity. Family social capital as parental supervision and community social capital as reciprocated exchange also positively relate to students’ behavioral adjustment. Students with more encouragement from teachers and reciprocated exchange in the community are more likely to develop clear and positive identity. Moreover, students who scored higher on teacher encouragement, structural bonding and perceived mutual help with peers, and child-centered informal social control in the community are also more likely to have higher score on social capacity. However, not all sources of social capital have significant relations with students’ development outcomes. In addition, according to the research findings, resilience and self-efficacy also mediate the effect of social capital on mental health, clear and positive identity, and social capacity, while only resilience could have the mediation effect on the relation between social capital and behavior adjustment. Implications for family service and family policy, everyday educational practice at school, and community development programme are discussed.