Family Factors Predicting Adolescents’ Self-Rated Health

Session : Workshop 3-1: Outcomes

  • Time : 9:15 am PDT To 10:50 am PDT on
  • Venue : Family Factors Predicting Adolescents’ Self-Rated Health

Full Abstract

Self-rated health (SRH) is an important subjective health risk and -promotive factor that also early in life impact mortality, morbidity, clusters of multi-morbidity, allostatic load and health care attendance. Among 1225 students in primary high-school (11 and 13 years of age) we set out to examine what family factors that impacted SRH after two years. We performed both temporal causal and residual change analyses with ordinal regression models with SRH reported at three levels. SRH deteriorated during the two years, especially among girls. In all the models we adjusted for sex, age and self-reported family affluence, and we also entered SRH at baseline as an adjusting variable in the residual change analyses. The temporal causal analyses revealed that parental support (positive); parental divorce (negative); the conversational quality with fathers as well as with mothers (positive); exaggerated expectations from parents (negative); and experiencing that opinions from the child were taken seriously in the family (positive) all impacted the SRH statistically significant two years after. Parental control and the amount of contact with the extended family did not influence the level of SRH at the end of the observation time. In the residual change analyses (with SRH at T0 entered in the models) we revealed that parental support (positive); parental divorce (negative); the conversational quality with fathers as well as with mothers (positive); and experiencing that opinions from the child were taken seriously in the family (positive) all impacted the change of SRH during the two years’ observation. Parental control and the amount of contact with the extended family did not influence the change of SRH during the observation time. Exaggerated expectations from parents only had a borderline significant association with SRH change during the two years. The study reveals that SRH is impacted by several family factors during early adolescence. Fathers and mothers are mutually important. Divorce plays a less important role than the quality of the conversations with the child. SRH is an important health determinant. Therefore, promoting good parent-child relations seem an important public health task.