In this study, we investigated whether and how familism was linked to Korean emerging adults' psychological adjustment (i.e., depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) through multiple mediators. Our mediators were two aspects of parent-child relationships—conformity to parental expectations and parent-child affection—and differentiation of self, a key concept in Bowen's family systems theory. The data came from 420 South Korean university students who were 18 to 25 years old and had at least one living parent. Structural equation modeling showed that familism had both positive and negative indirect relationships with psychological adjustment depending upon the mediators. Through a greater willingness to conform to parental expectations and through less differentiation of self, familism had a negative indirect relationship with depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. However, through greater parent-child affection, familism had a positive indirect association with depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Our findings suggest that familism plays complicated roles in Korean emerging adults' psychological adjustment and that differentiation of self is a useful concept in explaining the underlying mechanism that connects familism with emerging adults' psychological adjustment.


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pp. 409-435
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