Maternal mediation of word writing in Chinese across Hong Kong and Beijing

Dan LIN, Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG, Dorit ARAM, Hua SHU, Iris LEVIN, Jeung Ryeul CHO

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43 Citations (Scopus)


We examined the nature of maternal mediation of children’s word writing and its associations to kindergartners’ independent Chinese reading and writing skills in 63 Hong Kong and 43 Beijing mother– child dyads. The nature of maternal mediation of writing was analyzed across the 3 dimensions of cognitive support, autonomy support, and social– emotional support from mothers. Even with children’s independent cognitive skills (phonological awareness, morphological awareness, visual skills, orthographic knowledge) statistically controlled, both the cognitive and autonomy support dimensions of maternal mediation were uniquely associated with word reading in both cultures; both dimensions were also uniquely associated with word writing in Beijing only. With cognitive skills statistically controlled, one aspect of the social– emotional support dimension—mothers’ focus on the process of writing (e.g., “make this stroke longer”)—was also uniquely associated with both word writing and reading in Hong Kong but was only weakly associated (p.10) with word reading in Beijing. A few specific strategy differences in maternal mediation in these dimensions were documented across cultures as well. Results underscore the importance of parental scaffolding of writing processes in young Chinese children across cultures. Copyright © 2011 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


Lin, D., McBride-Chang, C., Aram, D., Shu, H., Levin, I., & Cho, J.-R. (2012). Maternal mediation of word writing in Chinese across Hong Kong and Beijing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(1), 121-137.


  • Word writing
  • Literacy development
  • Metalinguistic awareness
  • Parental scaffolding
  • Reading
  • Autonomy support


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