Perceived Family Support and Student Outcomes in Rural China: A Mediation Analysis

This study investigated the association between household characteristics, perceived family support (PFS), and the developmental outcomes (resilience, academic performance, and prosociality) among at-risk students. Our large sample included 1564 primary and secondary school students from poor rural China (M = 11.55 years old). Having a caregiver whose resilience score was in the top 50% of the sample was associated with a 0.48-point increase (or 0.31 d effect size), while having a migrant mother was correlated with a 0.26-point decrease (or 0.17 d effect size). PFS was a significant (p < 0.0001) mediator between household characteristics and developmental outcomes. Our study highlights the link between caregiver resilience and PFS, and the healthy functioning of disadvantaged students in a developing context.