To avoid or to approach hardworking underachievers? Mediators between peers effort-making and adolescents friend-making in the Confucian cultural context

[Speaker] Fwu, Bih-jen:1
[Co-author] Wei, Chih-fen:2, Chen, Shun-wen:3, Wang, Hsiou-huai:1
1:National Taiwan University (Taiwan), 2:University of Taipei (Taiwan), 3:National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan)

In individualist societies such as North America, those who work hard but fail suffer from incompetency and low self-esteem. However, in collective Confucian societies such as Taiwan, hardworking underachievers tend to have positive image because effortful students are given great moral salience and regarded as fulfilling their filial obligation. This study investigated if hardworking peers as a (moral) model and conformity to parental expectations mediated the impact of peer's effort-making on adolescents' decisions to avoid or to approach the peers.

A self-made scenario questionnaire was administered to 342 high school students in Taiwan. Independent variable was peer's level of effort whereas dependent variables included peers as a model, perceived parental expectations, and personal choice of friends. Structural equation model was conducted. The results showed that the impacts of peer's effort were mediated by peer as a model and perceived parental expectations, which in turn contribute to personal choice of friends.
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