Using a cross-sectional design with 407 Chinese children aged 3-5 years and their parents, this study examined the effects of socioeconomic status, specifically parents' education and family income, on the children's mother-child relationships, father-child relationships, and the social environment in their families. The results indicated that income negatively predicted conflict in father-child relationships and positively predicted family active-recreational environments. Income also positively predicted family cohesion among girls but not boys. Maternal education negatively predicted conflict in mother-child relationships and positively predicted closeness in mother-child and father-child relationships, family cohesion, and the intellectual-cultural and active-recreational environments in the family. Paternal education positively predicted family cohesion and intellectual-cultural and active-recreational environments. Income was found to partially mediate the effects of both maternal and paternal education on family active-recreational environments. Findings are discussed in the frameworks of the family stress model and the family investment model. (Author abstract)
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