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Keywords

adolescent, family efficacy, filial efficacy, health behaviors, parental efficacy

 

Authors

  1. Kao, Tsui-Sui Annie
  2. Ling, Jiying
  3. Dalaly, Mimi
  4. Robbins, Lorraine B.
  5. Cui, Yuehua

Abstract

Background: Parents play an influential role in their children's health behaviors. Research has shown that individuals' efficacy beliefs (personal and collective efficacy) are closely related to their behaviors and can be modified to improve health outcomes. Existing evidence confirms the effect of self-efficacy on various health outcomes. However, the effects of parent-child dyads' collective efficacy beliefs on adolescents' health outcomes are less clear. Bandura and his colleagues postulated that family members' perceived collective family efficacy plays an important role in their psychological well-being and possibly their health behaviors. However, few study results have delineated the relationship between collective family efficacy and risky adolescent health behaviors.

 

Objectives: This study was conducted to examine the relationships among parent-adolescent dyads' collective family efficacy, satisfaction with family functioning, depressive symptoms, personal efficacy beliefs, and adolescent risky health behaviors.

 

Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed 158 parent-adolescent dyads from the Midwestern region of the United States. Linear regression and path modeling were conducted to examine the influences of dyads' personal and collective efficacy beliefs on the adolescents' negative attitudes toward healthy lifestyle practices, injury prevention, safe sex practices, substance use prevention, and depressive symptoms.

 

Results: Risky adolescent health behaviors were strongly correlated with higher depressive symptoms. The dyads' personal and collective efficacy beliefs emerged as protective factors for adolescent health risks directly and indirectly through depressive symptoms. Both adolescents' and parents' perceived collective family efficacy buffered the effect of parent-adolescent dyads' depressive symptoms on adolescent risky health behaviors with significant direct and indirect effects. Adolescents' family efficacy, satisfaction with family functioning, and filial efficacy significantly mediated the relationship between depressive symptoms and risky health behaviors.

 

Discussion: Parent-adolescent dyads' perceived collective family efficacy buffers adolescents from depressive symptoms and risky health behaviors. This finding suggests that family interventions should not only address adolescents' personal-level efficacy but also their collective aspects of efficacy beliefs within the family context.