De rol van gezinsstructuur in het functioneren van adolescenten
Dijk, M.J. van
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Background: Parental divorce is related to internalizing and externalizing problems in children and adolescents. However, family structure has become more diverse over time. There is little understanding about how family structure relates to internalizing and externalizing. Therefore, this study includes married, cohabited, divorced and decohabited families. Purpose: The aim of the study is to clarify the relation between family structure and internalizing and externalizing problems, the role of gender, and quality of the parent-child relationship. Methods: This study includes 6821 Dutch adolescents in the age of 12 to 18 at a large representative group of secondary schools. Data were collected in six consecutive years via a cross-sequential design. These data consist of self-report questionnaires of adolescents about individual and family functioning. Results: Adolescents from divorced families show significantly higher levels of internalizing problems than adolescents from married, cohabitated, and decohabitated families. Adolescents from decohabitated families show significantly higher levels of externalizing problems than adolescents from married families. Furthermore, gender significantly interacts with family structure for internalizing problems. An indication for a (partial) mediation effect has been found for the quality of the parent-child relationship between family structure and internalizing and externalizing problems. Conclusion: Parental divorce is related to more internalizing problems in adolescents and parental decohabitation is related to more externalizing problems in adolescents, compared to adolescents with married parents. These relations could be partially mediated via the quality of the parent-child relationship and gender is related to the type of problem behavior.