Document Type : Research Article (s)


1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 2Wellbeing Research Center, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Background: Children’s development and general adjustment are inextricably tied to their mental and emotional well-being. The present study investigated the relationship between children’s adjustment, internalizing difficulties, parenting stress, and the mediating role of internalizing problems in this relationship within the cultural context of China.
Methods: The present cross-sectional study apllied a quantitative research design. The survey method was used to collect data from August 2023 to November 2023 via an online questionnaire from WenJuanXing. A total of 154 participants, including parents of children aged 6 to 12, who were currently living in Shanghai, China, were selected by simple random sampling method. The scales used in the study include: Child Adjustment and Parental Efficacy Scale (CAPES), Internalizing Problems/ Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Parenting Stress Scale (PSS). Pearson Correlation was used to examine the correlations between internalizing problems, children’s maladjustment, and parenting stress. Furthermore, Hayes’ PROCESS macro (2013) was used to study the mediating effect of parental stress in the relationship between internalising problems and children’s maladjustment.
Results: The study found a significant positive association (r=0.536, P<0.001) between internalising issues and maladjustment among children. Additionally, a significant positive correlation was found between internalising problems and parenting stress (r=0.425, P<0.001). Furthermore, there was a week positive correlation (r=0.301, P<0.001) between parenting stress and children’s maladjustment behaviour. The present study found no significant indirect effect of parental stress as a mediating variable (β=0.09, P=0.238). Internalising problems were found to have a significant direct influence (β=0.54, P=0.001) on children’s maladjustment.
Conclusions: The results demonstrated a positive relationship between internalizing problems and children’s maladjustment behaviors. The present study successfully achieved its objective of shedding light on the intricate dynamics of parental stress, internalization problems, and maladjustment in the unique cultural landscape of Shanghai, China.


How to Cite: Sheng M, Motevalli S. The Mediating Role of Parenting Stress in the Correlation between Internalizing Problems and Maladjustment among School-Age Children in Shanghai, China. Int. J. School. Health. 2024;11(3):147-156. doi: 10.30476/INTJSH.2024.102170.1398.