Ethnicity, parenting styles, and adolescent health behaviours

Cassidy, Aidan (2020) Ethnicity, parenting styles, and adolescent health behaviours. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Background: There are ethnic variations in health behaviours in adolescence that track into adulthood and determine health outcomes. It is important to understand how these ethnic variations are influenced by factors such as the family environment so this thesis aimed to investigate whether ethnic variations in adolescent substance use, diet, and physical activity are mediated or moderated by parenting styles. Ethnic variations in adolescent health behaviours may also be moderated in strength by acculturation, and any investigation of parenting styles as a mediator needs to account for intermediate confounding by structural inequalities.
Methods: Data were taken from the second wave of the, London-based, UK DASH study. These data were collected from 4,779 adolescents, aged 14-16 years old, between 2005 and 2006. The ethnic diversity of the DASH study allows for investigation of differences between major UK ethnic groups. Outcome measures include substance use (smoking, alcohol, and illicit drug use), fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, body size, and clusters of health behaviours (identified by latent class analysis). Logistic regression analysis and marginal structural modelling were used to investigate whether ethnic variations in adolescent health behaviours were mediated or moderated by cultural values, or parenting styles. This approach allows for intermediate confounding by structural inequalities.
Results: Adolescent health behaviours varied by ethnicity and some variations were moderated by cultural factors, tending to be weaker where adolescents were more acculturated. Ethnic minority adolescents were less likely than White UK adolescents to engage in substance use behaviours but tended to have more unhealthy diets. Structural inequalities did not fully explain these ethnic variations. Compared to White UK adolescents, ethnic minority adolescents were more likely to perceive Authoritative or Authoritarian styles of parenting, characterised by higher parental control. Adolescents who perceived more Authoritative or Permissive styles of parenting, characterised by higher parental care, tended to have healthier behaviours. In general, the results of marginal structural models indicate that intervening on parenting styles would not remove ethnic variations in adolescent health behaviours, though this may be because the effects of Authoritarian and Authoritative parenting would to some extent cancel each other out.
Conclusion: Although intervening to modify parenting styles may improve adolescent health behaviours in general, further research is needed to better understand the role of cultural factors in influencing ethnic variations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Ethnicity, parenting, health behaviours.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Molaodi, Dr. Oarabile and Green, Dr. Michael and Moore, Professor Laurence and Harding, Professor Seeromanie
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Aidan Cassidy
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81835
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2021 16:47
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 08:48
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81835
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81835

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