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Pathways From Family Disadvantage via Abusive Parenting and Caregiver Mental Health to Adolescent Health Risks in South Africa

Meinck, F; Cluver, LD; Orkin, FM; Kuo, C; Sharma, AD; Hensels, IS; Sherr, L; (2017) Pathways From Family Disadvantage via Abusive Parenting and Caregiver Mental Health to Adolescent Health Risks in South Africa. Journal of Adolescent Health , 60 (1) pp. 57-64. 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.08.016. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Adolescent health is a major concern in low- and middle-income countries, but little is known about its predictors. Family disadvantage and abusive parenting may be important factors associated with adolescent psychological, behavioral, and physical health outcomes. This study, based in South Africa, aimed to develop an empirically based theoretical model of relationships between family factors such as deprivation, illness, parenting, and adolescent health outcomes. METHODS: Cross-sectional data were collected in 2009–2010 from 2,477 adolescents (aged 10–17) and their caregivers using stratified random sampling in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Participants reported on sociodemographics, psychological symptoms, parenting, and physical health. Multivariate regressions were conducted, confirmatory factor analysis employed to identify measurement models, and a structural equation model developed. RESULTS: The final model demonstrated that family disadvantage (caregiver AIDS illness and poverty) was associated with increased abusive parenting. Abusive parenting was in turn associated with higher adolescent health risks. Additionally, family disadvantage was directly associated with caregiver mental health distress which increased adolescent health risks. There was no direct effect of family disadvantage on adolescent health risks but indirect effects through caregiver mental health distress and abusive parenting were found. CONCLUSIONS: Reducing family disadvantage and abusive parenting is essential in improving adolescent health in South Africa. Combination interventions could include poverty and violence reduction, access to health care, mental health services for caregivers and adolescents, and positive parenting support. Such combination packages can improve caregiver and child outcomes by reducing disadvantage and mitigating negative pathways from disadvantage among highly vulnerable families.

Type: Article
Title: Pathways From Family Disadvantage via Abusive Parenting and Caregiver Mental Health to Adolescent Health Risks in South Africa
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.08.016
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.08.016
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Social Sciences, Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Psychology, Developmental, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Pediatrics, Psychology, Risk Factors, Parenting, Adolescent Health, Aids, South Africa, Adolescent Abuse, Mental Health, Adolescent Behavior, Postnatal Depression, Sexual-Abuse, Children, HIV, Validation, Behavior, Poverty, Community, Validity, Anxiety
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1527255
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