Family structure, mother-child communication, father-child communication, and adolescent life satisfaction: a cross-sectional multilevel analysis

Kate A. Levin, Candace Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between mother-child and
father-child communication and children’s life satisfaction, and the moderating effect of
communication with stepparents.
Design/methodology/approach: Data from the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children:
WHO-collaborative Study in Scotland (n ¼ 4; 959) were analysed using multilevel linear regression
analyses.
Findings: There was an association between both mother-child and father-child communication
and young people’s life satisfaction. Relationship with mother was particularly important, especially
among girls. Among boys, not living in a traditional two-parent family was a predictor of low life
satisfaction, even when communication with one or more parents was easy. This effect was
independent of economic disadvantage. The quality of the relationship with stepparents moderated
these associations very slightly and in single father families only.
Research limitations/implications: Strategies at the population level are recommended to
enhance an open atmosphere in the home where young people feel they are able to talk to their parents
about things that are bothering them. Further work is needed to understand the needs of high risk
groups such as boys living in single father households and girls living in single mother and step
families.
Originality/value: The mental well-being of children and adolescents is a priority area for the
World Health Organization and the Scottish Government but is a relatively new field with little known
and no measures as yet identified. This study considered the impact of determinants related to the
family on adolescent life satisfaction. The context of lone father families, an often missed category,
was considered, as was the moderating effect of step-parents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-173
Number of pages21
JournalHealth Education Journal
Volume110
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • family life
  • quality of life
  • Scotland
  • family roles
  • developmental psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Family structure, mother-child communication, father-child communication, and adolescent life satisfaction: a cross-sectional multilevel analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this