Adolescents Leaving Parental Home: Psychosocial Correlates and Implications for Conservation


An, Li; Mertig, Angela G.; Liu, Jianguo "Jack"

Journal or Book Title: Population and Environment

Keywords: leaving parental home; Structural Equations Modeling; giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca); conservation; Wolong Nature Reserve (China)

Volume/Issue: 24/5

Page Number(s): 415-444

Year Published: 2003


To disclose the interplay between psychosocial antecedents of adolescents’ decisions
to leave their parental home in an ecologically sensitive region, we used structural
equation modeling to analyze data from in-person interviews of members of
220 households in Wolong Nature Reserve for giant pandas (China). We further
divided our data into two sub-samples by gender to test the hypothesis that model
parameters differ for females and males. Our findings indicate that parental attitudes/
behavior, peer behavior, and perceived availability of material/non-material
resources play a critical role in adolescents’ home-leaving decisions. This study
demonstrates an important link between psychosocial factors and biodiversity conservation.

Type of Publication: Journal Article