Trends in adolescents' perceived parental communication across 32 countries in Europe and North America from 2002 to 2010

Publication Type:
Journal Article
European Journal of Public Health, 2015, 25 pp. 46 - 50
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© 2015 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved. Background: The quality of communication with parents is a determinant of health and well-being during adolescence, being predictive of self-esteem, self-rated health and the ability to navigate health risk behaviours. Methods: This article describes trends in adolescent's (aged 11, 13 and 15 years) perception of communication with mothers and fathers by gender across 32 European and North American countries from 2002 to 2010. Analyses were performed on 425 699 records employing a General Linear Model (MANOVA). Results: In most countries, significant increases in the prevalence of ease of communication with both mothers and fathers were observed, with the greatest positive changes over time in Estonia, Denmark and Wales. In some countries, the opposite trend was found with the greatest negative changes occurring in France, Slovenia and Poland. Across the pooled dataset, a significant positive trend was observed for ease of communication with father, for both boys and girls and for ease of communication with mother for boys only. Conclusion: The temporal trends demonstrated an increase in a positive health asset for many young people, that of family communication. Positive trends may be a feature of the economic boom over the past decade coupled with cultural changes in attitudes to parenting, especially fathering.
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