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Triangulation processes experienced by children in contemporary China


Most family-system research on triangulation procebes has been undertaken in the West, with little known about this family dynamic in the East. The present crob-sectional study analysed 1,073 Chinese 3rd-12th-graders' self-reported exposure to three kinds of triangulation-crob-generation coalition, scapegoating, and parentification-in relation to family and child factors and with respect to children's school and social adjustment. Age-related analyses generally indicated that older children were leb frequently exposed to all three dimensions of triangulation than younger ones. Children residing with only their parents experienced more scapegoating than those living in extended families; and boys were exposed to crob-generation coalition and scapegoating more than were girls. Higher levels of coalition and scapegoating exposure were related to poorer school adjustment and greater deprebion of children. Higher levels of parentification exposure, however, were abociated with better school adjustment and social functioning. Findings are discubed in terms of theory and research on parent-child triangulation and cultural differences between East and West.

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