Adolescent and parent relationships

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Relocation following parental separation : international research, policy and practice.
TaylorN
Children Australia v. 38 no. 4 Dec 2013: 134-142

Relocation disputes are widely regarded internationally as one of the most difficult and controversial issues in family law. This article outlines the legal context governing relocation disputes in New Zealand and briefly reviews the research literature on the impact of parental separation and relocation. The key findings are then set out from a three-year study (2007 to 2009) with 100 New Zealand families where one parent had sought to relocate with their child(ren), either within New Zealand or internationally. Interviews were conducted with 114 parents and 44 children and young people from these families about their experiences. The article concludes by traversing the efforts being made in the international legal policy context to adopt a more consistent approach to relocation disputes in common law jurisdictions.

Family factors in early school leaving [Reprint]
Robinson E and Meredith V
Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia v. 20 no. 2 2013: 30-40

Young people who leave school early are at greater risk of experiencing long-term unemployment and slipping into social exclusion as a result. This paper looks at the risk factors associated with young people exiting the education system prematurely, particularly in a family context. The impact of parental separation and changes to family structure on academic outcomes, and the continued importance of parental involvement in education in the secondary school years are further explored. Key messages for child and family support practitioners who are working with families with adolescent children are provided.

Family factors in early school leaving
Robinson E and Meredith V
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013.

Young people who leave school early are at greater risk of experiencing long-term unemployment and slipping into social exclusion as a result. This paper looks at the risk factors associated with young people exiting the education system prematurely, particularly in a family context. The impact of parental separation and changes to family structure on academic outcomes, and the continued importance of parental involvement in education in the secondary school years are further explored. Key messages for child and family support practitioners who are working with families with adolescent children are provided.

Australian families with children and adolescents
Weston R, Qu L and Baxter J
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2013.

This paper describes the characteristics of Australian families with children and adolescents living at home. It compares census data over the last few decades to examine trends in family form and family life, which in turn reflect social and demographic changes. Information is presented on: family size, couple and one-parent families, age of mothers, intact families, step- and blended families, parental employment, and parent and teenager satisfaction with family relationships. Though families are changing in size and complexity, they appear to continue to function well and adapt to the new challenges they confront in supporting their children along the path to adulthood.

Parenting a child with cancer : perceptions of adolescents and parents of adolescents and younger children following completion of childhood cancer treatment.
Williams L, McCarthy M, Eyles D and Drew S
Journal of Family Studies v. 19 no. 1 Apr 2013: 80-89

This qualitative study explored perceptions from adolescents and parents of the impact of childhood cancer on parenting 2-5 years post-end of treatment. Interviews were conducted 14 parents of pre-adolescent children as well as 21 adolescents and 22 parents of adolescents. Six main themes emerged: 1) Parenting strategies: Relaxing discipline, bribing and spoiling children, 2) Regressive parenting, 3) Structured Parenting: keeping up a 'normal' routine, 4) Intimacy, closeness & emotional support, 5) Differential parenting and 6) Parental protectiveness. Some reports of parenting were associated with initial stages of cancer whereas other aspects of parenting attitudes and behaviours appeared to exist after the demands of diagnosis and treatment. This suggests that there is some overlap in the parenting strategies used during 'active' stages of the disease and survivorship. These results highlight the importance of understanding parenting processes that can operate throughout the disease trajectory for families experiencing paediatric cancer. Parenting is an ongoing process and as such, parenting intervention efforts should not be limited to the active treatment phase of a child's diagnosis.

Promoting positive youth development : through a brief parenting intervention program.
Chand N, Farruggia S, Dittman C, Chu J and Sanders M
Youth Studies Australia v. 32 no. 1 Mar 2013: 29-36

Parents of adolescents from Auckland, New Zealand, attended a seminar series on raising teenagers and completed pre- and post-intervention assessments of parenting and family relationships in order to examine the effects of participation on family functioning and positive youth development (PYD). Adolescents completed measures of family relationships and PYD. In addition, some parents and their teenagers participated in post-intervention focus groups. The results suggest that brief parenting interventions may produce favourable outcomes for families with adolescent children, including the promotion of important aspects of PYD.

Family stressors and children's outcomes
Jones E, Gutman L and Platt L
London : Dept. of Education, c2013.

This report investigates the impact of family stresses and resources on child outcomes, using two longitudinal studies from Great Britain. First, it examines what family factors, stresses, and parental behaviours are associated with children's outcomes at age seven. It then examines whether stressful life events experienced at different periods of childhood are associated with poor outcomes in adolescence. Data is taken from the Millennium Cohort Study and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Child outcomes include verbal skills, non-verbal skills, maths skills, school readiness, and behavioural difficulties, and adolescent outcomes include school results at ages 14 and 16 and emotional, behavioural, social, and school wellbeing at age 13. Risk and protective factors assessed include child illness or disability, family size, family poverty, parent education and literacy skills, parent smoking or drug use, social support, benefits receipt, home ownership, peer contact, and neighbourhood safety. Stressful life events assessed include bereavement, child abuse, homelessness, relocation, and divorce.

About Families project report, May 2013 (PDF)
Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, Capability Scotland, Parenting Across Scotland (Organisation), About Families (Project)
Edinburgh : Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, 2013

"The About Families partnership sought to ensure that the changing needs of parents - including families affected by disability - are met by providing accessible and relevant evidence to inform services. Over three years (2010-2013), About Families identified and investigated four key parenting topics, produced clear language topic reports, and supported a range of organisations and services to use evidence, and consult with service users, to inform service development. The project also piloted an Evidence Bank, which produced concise evidence reviews in direct response to family and disability service-related research questions. This report: outlines the 'evidence to action' model devised by About Families to facilitate using evidence in practice; summarises key findings across the four topics explored; offers case studies of how About Families supported organisations and services to use evidence in practice and consult with service users; outlines the Evidence Bank; and shares learning arising from the project."

Adolescent-to-parent abuse : current understandings in research, policy and practice
Holt A
Bristol : Policy, 2012.

"While much has been written about the problematic behaviour of young people and their families, there has been silence on the problem of young people behaving abusively towards their parents, which may take the form of physical, economic and/or emotional abuse. This is the first academic book to focus on adolescent-to-parent abuse and brings together international research and practice literature and combines it with original research to identify and critique current understandings in research, policy and practice. It discusses what we know about parents' experiences of adolescent-to-parent abuse and critically examines how it has been explained from psychological, sociological and sociocultural perspectives. It also outlines how policymakers and practitioners can usefully respond to the problem."

Precursors and correlates of anxiety trajectories from late childhood to late adolescence.
Letcher P, Sanson A, Smart D and Toumborou J
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology v. 41 no. 4 2012: 417-432

This article examines the development of anxiety across childhood and adolescence. It presents analyses of the first 12 waves of data from the Australian Temperament Project, from infancy to late adolescence, to explore the precursors and correlates of different trajectories of anxiety. A range of parent- and teacher-reported factors was found to be associated with these trajectories, including temperament style, behaviour problems, social skills, parenting, negative family events, and peer relationships, with differences for boys and girls.

Discrepancies between parent- and adolescent-perceived problem severity and influences on help seeking from mental health services.
Wahlin T and Deane F
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 46 no. 6 Jun 2012: 553-560

This article examines the influence of parents on young people's decision to seek help for mental illness. Drawing on surveys with 119 young people aged 14-18 and their parents attending a child and adolescent mental health service in New South Wales, the study investigated influences on the young person to seek help, level of parent influence, and discrepancies between parent and child views of the severity of the illness.

Taking a longer view of contact: the perspectives of young adults who experienced parental separation in their youth (PDF)
Fortin J, Hunt J and Scanlan L
Brighton : Sussex Law School, 2012.

The British government is looking at amending family law to promote the greater involvement of non-resident parents in their children's lives. However, little is known about the long-term impact of current contact arrangements laws on children. This study aims to address this research gap by documenting the views of young adults who experienced parental separation in their youth. It draws on a survey with 398 adults in England aged 18 to 35, who experienced parental separation before they turned 16. The survey investigated parenting arrangements, contact with non-resident parents, contact problems and how these were addressed, relations with parents, participation and inclusion, contact safety concerns, parental conflict, and the effect on their adult lives.

Unexpected victims: how parents' unemployment affects their children's life satisfaction (PDF)
Kind M and Haisken-DeNew J
Melbourne : Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, 2012.

"The effects of unemployment on the subjective wellbeing of the unemployed are well documented. Using data from the German SOEP for 17-25 year olds living with their parents, this paper examines the additional indirect effects of parents' unemployment on their children's subjective wellbeing in an attempt to capture the full impact of unemployment. The reason for entry (exogenous versus endogenous) into unemployment plays a major role. Fathers who enter unemployment exogenously affect their son's SWB negatively, as do mothers who enter into unemployment endogenously. Parental unemployment has no impact on daughters' SWB."--Author abstract.

Inflexible parents, inflexible kids : a 6-year longitudinal study of parenting style and the development of psychological flexibility in adolescents.
Williams K, Ciarrochi J and Heaven P
Journal of Youth and Adolescence v. 41 no. 8 Aug 2012: 1053-1066

This article examines the association between parenting style and adolescent psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility helps people cope with life more effectively and pursue their goals. A longitudinal study was conducted with 749 secondary students over 6 years, from Years 7 to 12, measuring change sin psychological flexibility and parenting style over this period. The article discusses the findings and the relationship between parenting changes and the development of the psychological flexibility in young people.

Parenting satisfaction and self-efficacy : a longitudinal study of mothers of children with Down syndrome.
Gilmore L and Cuskelly M
Journal of Family Studies v. 18 no. 1 Jun 2012: 28-35

Continuities and changes in parenting sense of competence were examined for mothers of children with Down syndrome from early childhood to adolescence. The sample comprised 25 mothers whose child with Down syndrome was aged 4-6 years in the first phase of the study, and 11-15 years at the second time point. Maternal satisfaction with parenting increased over time, but there were no changes in parenting self-efficacy. Scores on these measures were no different from those reported in a normative sample of mothers of typically developing children, suggesting that the challenges of parenting a child with Down syndrome do not impact significantly on parenting sense of competence during the early childhood and adolescent periods. There were some significant relationships of maternal sense of competence with child characteristics and self-reported parenting style, mostly in the expected direction.

Caring for the children of imprisoned mothers : exploring the role of fathers.
Flynn C
Child Abuse Review v. 21 no. 4 Jul/Aug 2012: 285-298

This article explores the role of fathers in providing care to children while their mothers are in prison. It is part of a broader study on the impact of maternal incarceration on 20 young people in Victoria aged from 10 to 18 years old, which involved interviews with imprisoned mothers and their children. It discusses the needs of children of imprisoned mothers, children's views of care, and research to date, and presents findings from the study regarding care arrangements, child and mother perceptions of the quality of father-care, and the impact of father-care on young people and their relationship with their mother.

Engaging with and understanding children whose parents have a dual diagnosis.
Reupert A, Goodyear M and Maybery D
Child and Adolescent Mental Health v. 17 no. 3 Sep 2012: 153-160

This article presents findings from a research project on the experiences and needs of children whose parents have a dual diagnosis of a mental health and a substance use disorder. Interviews were conducted with 12 children and young people, aged 8 to 15, recruited through Northern Kids Care On Track Community Programs, in northern New South Wales. The article discusses issues of consent and ethics in conducting research with children, and also discusses the findings of the study, which present the perspectives of children on family relations, coping, and support.

Depression and self-harming in adolescence : a family-centered approach.
Hurd K and Noller P
Noller, Patricia, ed. Karantzas, Gery C., ed. The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of couples and family relationships. Chichester, UK : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 9781444334500: 363-376

Major risk factors for suicide include a history of depression, previous suicide attempts, and significant family conflict. For children and adolescents, major risk factors also include chronic family discord, substance abuse, and recent loss of major attachment figures. This chapter explores this further with a study investigating which aspects of family functioning attachment are related to self-harming and suicidal behaviour in depressed adolescents. The study assessed adolescents and their parents on depression, self-harm, parent-child relationship, parenting style, family environment, secure attachment, parental bonding, behaviour problems, and substance abuse, to identify protective and risk factors.

Conflict in family relationships.
Noller P
Noller, Patricia, ed. Karantzas, Gery C., ed. The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of couples and family relationships. Chichester, UK : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 9781444334500: 129-143

This chapter explores conflict within families. Sections include: misunderstandings and conflict in marriage, conflict styles, learning conflict patterns in the family, conflict strategies and relationship satisfaction, conflict in separated and divorcing families, family conflict and adolescent psychological adjustment, and differential parenting and conflict between siblings.

Parents and adolescents.
Wilkinson R
Noller, Patricia, ed. Karantzas, Gery C., ed. The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of couples and family relationships. Chichester, UK : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 9781444334500: 66-81

A negative and pessimistic view of adolescents has emerged in the media and the general community. Using Australian and international data on the parent-adolescent relationship, this chapter discredits this view and instead highlights the positive aspects of adolescence and adolescent development.

Preventing the onset of offending.
Freiberg K and Homel R
Stewart, Anna, ed. Allard, Troy, ed. Dennison, Susan, ed. Evidence based policy and practice in youth justice. Sydney : Federation Press, 2011. 9781862878457: 82-99

This chapter discusses the primary or developmental prevention of offending in young people - stopping antisocial behaviour before it escalates to the attention of the criminal justice system. The Pathways to Prevention Project is used to illustrate and review the developmental prevention approach. This project targets families in socially disadvantaged areas of Brisbane, Queensland, with a suite of programs and services aimed at children, young people, and parents at different life-stages.

Crime-prone communities.
Weatherburn D
Stewart, Anna, ed. Allard, Troy, ed. Dennison, Susan, ed. Evidence based policy and practice in youth justice. Sydney : Federation Press, 2011. 9781862878457: 63-81

This chapter reviews current theories on why some communities experience more crime than others. It describes the development of social disorganisation theory as well as research on the association between certain kinds of poor or abusive parenting, as well as economic stress, and the risk of juvenile offending. In conclusion, the chapter notes the issues for further research and policy development.

Adolescent violence in the home: the missing link in family violence prevention and response (PDF)
Howard J
Sydney : Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of New South Wales, 2011.

This paper provides an overview of the issue of adolescent violence towards parents. It describes types of violence, prevalence, the gendered nature of perpetration and victimisation, impact on victims, and risk factors - including experiencing family violence as a child and parenting style. The paper also reviews current therapeutic and criminal justice interventions, and presents a case study of the Step Up program in America, and its applicability to Australia.

Kinship care and wellbeing : children speak out. (PDF145KB)
Kiraly M
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 29 Spring 2011: 18-24

This article presents the views of children and young people on the experience of kinship care. Interviews were conducted with 21 young people in Victoria, discussing such issues as normality, relationship with parents, forced contact arrangements, the importance of brothers and sisters, and support from the wider family. The article concludes with thoughts on how the system can be improved and better supported.

Antisocial behaviour: an examination of individual, family and neighbourhood factors
McGee T, Wickes R, Corcoran J, Bor W and Najman J
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2011.

The present research is the first of its kind in Australia to simultaneously examine individual, family and neighbourhood predictors of adolescent antisocial behaviour. The study draws on two key data sources - Australian Bureau of Statistics census data and the Mater University Study of Pregnancy (MUSP). The MUSP is a prospective longitudinal study of mothers and their children in Brisbane, Australia; the current project draws on data from birth through to adolescence (age 14 years). The study found that less than one percent of variation in antisocial behaviour was attributable to the statistical local area (SLA). Subsequent models of both SLA-level variables (neighbourhood disadvantage, immigration concentration and residential mobility) and individual and familial variables, showed that the strongest predictors of adolescent antisocial behaviour are those which measure disruptions in parenting processes, poor school performance and early childhood aggression. The findings suggest that programs that aim to enhance parenting practices, including improving communication, supervision and monitoring of children, are important in reducing adolescent antisocial behaviour. (Publisher abstract)

Does family intervention for adolescent substance use impact parental wellbeing? A longitudinal evaluation.
Yuen E and Toumbourou J
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy v. 32 no. 3 Sep 2011: 249-263

Adolescent substance abuse is a common problem and family interventions are emerging as a strategy to prevent it and assist family coping. The effectiveness of a prevention-focussed family intervention was evaluated for its secondary impacts on improving parental mental health and family functioning. Twenty-four secondary schools in Melbourne Victoria were randomly assigned to either a control condition or an intervention titled Resilient Families. The two intervention levels analysed were: (1) a parenting booklet only and; (2) combining the booklet with face-to-face parent education sessions. Parent surveys at baseline were followed up one year and four years later. Repeated-measures analysis (n = 560) found parents attending parent education demonstrated reductions in mental health symptoms, however this had negative effects on family cohesion and no impact on family conflict. These findings were interpreted in terms of parent education assisting parent mental health by promoting assertive parenting styles that may increase adolescent-parent tension by encouraging firmer parental boundaries and strategies to reduce adolescent substance use.

Adolescent depression and time spent with parents and siblings.
Desha L, Nicholson J and Ziviani J
Social Indicators Research v. 101 no. 2 Apr 2011: 233-238

This study examines the association between family relationships and adolescent depression. Using data from the Child Development Supplement of the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics, it examines the severity of adolescent depression and time spent with parents and siblings and the quality of these relationships.

Coping and development : an index of resilience.
Nikkerud H and Frydenberg E
Children Australia v. 36 no. 3 2011: 113-119

Resilience is a concept that has captured people's interest in recent years in the hope of being able to readily identify the elements that make young people able to bounce back from adverse circumstances. Coping is an important component of resilience in that it can be conceptualised, operationalised, measured and developed. Since stress and coping have been arguably one of the most widely researched areas in the field of psychology there is a diverse literature. This article provides a brief review of the literature in the field of coping, particularly as it relates to adolescents. It provides a definition of the construct and considers correlates such as age and gender. It draws attention to the paucity of literature on family patterns of coping, such as an exploration of parents and their children's coping. Coping is helpful as part of a person-centred, rather than a situation-centred, approach to risk and resilience.

What works with adolescents? Family connections and involvement in interventions for adolescent problem behaviours.
Robinson E, Power L and Allan D
Family Matters no. 88 2011: 57-64

Adolescence is an important period of growth in which healthy transition from dependence on family ideally occurs, particularly in Western societies. This may be perceived, however, as meaning that young people are increasingly less likely to need family involvement and support in their lives. As a consequence of this, there is no consistent approach to the involvement of family members in treatment and intervention options for young people in need of support. This article examines recent literature regarding adolescent-parent relationships, and explores the evidence for family-based interventions to address problems occurring in adolescence.

The impact of parenting and family support strategies on children and young people's outcomes (PDF)
O'Mara A
London : Centre for Excellence and Outcomes on Children and Young People's Services (C4EO), 2011.

This literature review examines best practice in parent support strategies aimed at improving children's educational attainment, behavioural, and emotional outcomes. Chapters include: what do service users and providers tell us about what works?; the support needs of parents and carers of children aged 7 to 19 years; the effectiveness of parent-focused initiatives in improving child outcomes; barriers and facilitators to engaging parents and carers; and the costs and cost-effectiveness of parent-focused interventions.

See more resources on Adolescent and parent relationships in the AIFS library catalogue

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