Parent–Child Relationships and Adolescents' Life Satisfaction Across the First Decade of the New Millennium

AuthorCarmen Moreno,Antonia Jiménez‐Iglesias,Irene García‐Moya
Published date01 July 2017
Date01 July 2017
A J-I, I G-M,  C M University of Seville
Parent–Child Relationships and Adolescents’ Life
Satisfaction Across the First Decade of the New
Objective: To examine whether changes occ-
urred in parent–child relationships (maternal
and paternal affection, ease of communication
with the mother and father, maternal and pater-
nal knowledge, and family activities) between
2002 and 2010 in boys and girls and to exam-
ine the contributions of these family dimensions
to life satisfaction.
Background: Although parent–child relation-
ships may be affected by social change, there
are few investigations of change in parent–child
relationships over time.
Method: The sample consisted of 46,593 ado-
lescents between 11 to 18 years of age who par-
ticipated in the 2002, 2006, or 2010 editions of
the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children
(HBSC) study in Spain. Trendanalysis including
univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and
factorial ANOVAswere conducted separately for
boys and girls, and effect size tests were calcu-
Results: Communication with fathers and fam-
ily activities statistically increased across HBSC
editions and parent–child relationships were
positively associated with life satisfaction across
the examined period.
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology,
University of Seville, Calle Camilo José Cela, s/n. 41018
Sevilla, Spain (
Key Words: Adolescence, cross-sequential analysis, family
dimensions, life satisfaction, parent–child relationships.
Conclusion: There were small positive changes
in some family dimensions, and some of them
were increasingly important for adolescent life
satisfaction over time.
Implications: Interventions for strengthening
parent–child relationships and promoting ado-
lescent well-being should include mothers and
fathers and emphasize affection, communica-
tion, and family activities.
Investigations of changes in parent–child rela-
tionships over time are of interest (Parke &
Buriel, 2008). Indeed, according to Bron-
fenbrenner’s ecological model (1979), the
macrosystem (historical, social, cultural, and
economic factors) has a direct inuence on chil-
dren’s and adolescents’ microsystems, inclu-
ding the family. Current models in the eld of
social change (e.g., Pinquart & Silbereisen,
2004) also emphasize the importance of
microsystems as mediators of change at the
societal level. Furthermore, in the specic
area of family theory, the family life course
development framework emphasizes the impor-
tance of examining aggregate patterns and
variations in family interactions as a way to
monitor social change in the family institution
over time (White & Klein, 2008). However,
compared to other topics, such as adolescents’
lifestyles, changes in parent–adolescent rela-
tionships over time have rarely been studied.
This may be because family dimensions, such as
512 Family Relations 66 (July 2017): 512–526

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