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Universal parental support for parents of adolescents: Who wants municipality-based parental support and in what form?

Journal article
Authors Karin Wallgren Thorslund
Elin Alfredsson
Ulf Axberg
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume 60
Issue 1
Pages 16-25
ISSN 0036-5564
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 16-25
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1111/sjop.12498
Keywords adolescence, family services, parent training, parental engagement, parental support, Universal prevention
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Parenting a child through adolescence can be a challenge for many parents; adolescents go through notable developmental, physical, and psychological changes that affect the relationships around them. Most parents find parental support during these years important. These young people's relationships with their parents are important to their mental health, but although parental support is universally available to parents of younger children, it is still scarce for parents of adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore what factors are associated with interest in universal parental support through telephone interviews and questionnaires with 223 parents of 13- to 17-year-olds. Parents’ interest in parental support was linked to their own anxious mood, their lower perceived parental capacity, their perception of the child as having psychiatric problems, the parents’ perception of their adolescents’ openness about things and their perception of the adolescent's overall difficulties in daily life due to psychiatric symptoms. The results show that lighter forms of support such as lectures or seminars were more appealing to parents with higher social status. Offering community-based individual counseling and leader-led parent training groups therefore has the potential to reach parents with difficulties more equally, while offering support only through lectures and seminars could increase the inequality between parents in different social situations.

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