Parents' Perceptions of Teens' Experiences Are Related to Mental Health

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Parents' Perceptions of Teens' Experiences Are Related to Mental Health

*The following is excerpted from an online article from MedicalXpress.

Adolescents whose parents better understand their daily experiences have better psychological adjustment, suggests a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine.

Having parents who understand how their day went may even affect teens' cellular responses to stress--providing a possible link to improved physical health as well. "These results provide preliminary evidence that parental accuracy regarding their adolescent's daily experiences may be one specific daily parent factor that plays a role in adolescent health and well-being," according to the study by Lauren J. Human, PhD, of University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues.

In the study, 116 parent-teen pairs completed daily diaries for two weeks. The adolescents and their parents rated the daily demands on the teen (how much work they had at school and at home) as well as the positivity of their day together. The teens also rated their general levels of depression and stress.

The parents' ratings were more accurate when the teens generally had more positive days at home, and when the parents and teens generally had more positive days together. Parents' accuracy in rating their teen's daily demands was not significantly associated with adolescent depression or stress levels.

"However, adolescents whose parents more accurately perceived the positivity of their day together reported lower depression and perceived stress," Dr Human and coauthors write. In other words, when parents and teens generally agreed as to whether they had a good (or not so good) day together, the teens had better psychological adjustment.

Source: MedicalXpress