Adolescent Transition: Impact on Pattern of Perceived Family Functioning, Parental Attachment and Relationship with Family Structure and Risk Behavior

Vivien O Abah. FWACP


Background: Family approach to adolescent care is advocated to harness family protective factors and reduce adverse factors for adolescent risk behavior. Family Physicians can take the lead in providing this care but data on adolescent transition and perception of their family processes is lacking in our locale. There is need to bridge this gap and broaden the perspectives for successful adolescent care.Aim and Objectives: To determine the pattern of perceived family functioning and parental attachment, the impact of family structure and relationship to risk behavior among adolescents using the APGAR Questionnaire and Family Circle.Method: Over four hundred secondary school adolescents randomly selected participated using self administered customized instruments. Data was analyzed using the SPSS 21.p value was set at 0.05.Results: Most respondents (56.3%) rated their families as highly functional but deficient in the Growth and Affection domains of the APGAR. Parental attachment was healthy for majority (91.4%) with mother attachment (86.9%)significantly higher than father attachment (57.7%). Divorce had significant negative impact on functioning and all dimensions of attachment worse than families with a deceased parent. Work separation negatively impacted functioning, parental attachment was preserved. Risk behavior prevalence was high (25.6%), had significant relationship with family structure, functioning and parental attachment.Conclusion: Parental attachment mediates the impact of family structure and functioning on adolescent risk behavior. Most adolescents had healthy parental attachment, in functional families but with deficiency in the Growth and Affection domains and Father attachment indicating needed intervention to optimize family conditions for positive adolescent development.

Keywords: adolescent, family functioning, family structure, parental attachment, risk behavior.


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