Parental education and adolescent health problems due to violence, self-harm and substance use: what is the role of parental health problems?

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Abstract

Background Adolescent health problems are more prevalent in families with low socioeconomic position, but few studies have assessed the role of parental health in this association. This study examines the extent to which parental health problems, particularly those related to high-risk health behaviour, might explain the association between parental education and adolescent health problems due to violence, self-harm and substance use.Methods We used longitudinal register data on a 20% representative sample of all families with children aged 0textendash14 years in 2000 in Finland with information on parental social background and parental and offspring health problems based on hospital discharge data. We estimated discrete-time survival models with the Karlson-Holm-Breen method on hospital admissions due to violence, self-harm and substance use among adolescents aged 13textendash19 years in 2001textendash2011 (n=145 404).Results Hospital admissions were 2textendash3 times more common among offspring of basic educated parents than tertiary educated parents. Similar excess risks were observed among those with parental mental health problems and parental health problems due to violence, self-harm and substance use. The OR for offspring of basic educated parents was attenuated from OR 2.73 (95% CI 2.34 to 3.18) to OR 2.38 (2.04 to2.77) with adjustment for parental health problems, particularly those due to violence, self-harm and substance use. Having both low parental education and parental health problems showed simple cumulative effects.Conclusions The excess risks of hospital admissions due to violence, self-harm and substance use among adolescents with lower educated parents are largely independent of severe parental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Epidemiology & Community Health
Volume73
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
ISSN0143-005X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology

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