Cultural Specificity on Perception towards Educational Environment and Mental Health among Chinese and U.S. Adolescents

Ying Liu, Cody Ding, Shu Peng


This study examined cultural influence on perceptions towards educational environment and mental health behaviors among adolescents in grades 7 and 10 from both China and the U.S. Utilizing the perspective of cultural activity theory, we explored the behavioral patterns with respect to adolescents’ perceived school climate (school, teacher and peer), perceived parental involvement, time spent watching TV and using computer, and overall assessment of mental health. The results not only indicated significant differences in these factors including various aspects of school climate, parental involvement, media consumption and self-reported mental health status, but also suggested unique developmental trend among Chinese adolescents. School, teachers, peers and parents were found to be significant indicators of adolescents’ mental health. The findings were discussed from the perspective of cultural activity theory, along with limitations and future directions.

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Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology   ISSN 1927-0526 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0534 (Online)

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