Examining Family SES and Family Support as mediating factors in the association between different family structures and laughing gas use among a representative sample of Dutch adolescents
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Objective: in the last past decades laughing gas became more popular among adolescents, which can cause negative health outcomes. To gain more knowledge, risk factors for this use need to be identified. This study examined the association between growing up in different family structures and laughing gas use among adolescents and the extent to which this association is mediated by family SES and family support. Methods: For the present study, data from the Dutch Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) has been used. The sample used for this study consisted of 8912 adolescents. The distribution of respondents living in each family type is as follows: ‘intact’ (n = 6971), ‘single mom’ (n = 1017), ‘single dad’ (n = 178), ‘stepparent’ (n = 498). Logistic and linear regression analyses were performed to test research question. Results: Compared to intact-families, adolescents of single-mother-families, single-father families and stepparent families were more likely to have ever used laughing gas than adolescents from non-intact families. There is no significant difference between the different nonintact family structures. We did not found a mediation effect of family SES on the association between different family structures and laughing gas use. However, we did found a mediating effect of family support. Adolescents who experience more family support were less likely to use laughing gas.