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Universal parent support groups for parents of adolescents: Whichparents participate and why?

Journal article
Authors Elin Alfredsson
Anders G Broberg
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume 57
Issue 2
Pages 177-184
ISSN 0036-5564
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 177-184
Language en
Keywords Universal prevention, adolescence, parental support, parenting programs, difficulties questionnaire, prevention program, validation, strengths, version, scale
Subject categories Psychology


Leader-led parent support groups, offered universally to parents of adolescents, are increasingly common, yet little is known of the parents who use this support. The study presented here explored the characteristics of parents of 10- to 17-year-olds (N=192) who had enlisted in universal support groups and their reasons for enrollment. Sociodemographic factors (parents' country of origin, educational level, long-term sick-leave or unemployment, and marital status) were compared to the general population (Statistics Sweden, ) and parents' psychological health and children's psychiatric symptoms were compared to a control group (the BITA study). Results showed that support group parents reported more psychosocial difficulties, such as higher frequency of long-term sick-leave or unemployment, more symptoms of anxiety and depression and more psychiatric symptoms in their children than parents in general. While about a fifth of the parents had problem-oriented (targeted) reasons for enrollment, most parents had general (universal) reasons. Thus, the universal approach does seem to reach its intended recipients.

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