Insecure financial situation and family breakdown could lead to mental problems in teens, including depressive symptoms, anxiety and worries. A study over a five-year period looked on a population of 1,160 French and English speaking students in Montreal.
The study was conducted under the lead of Professor Jennifer O'Loughlin, from the University of Montreal. The results of the research were published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and reported online on the site MedicalXpress. Her team of researchers followed the group of students since the year 2002, were 12 and 13 years old adolescents were still living with both parents.
The researchers asked the students to answer a questionnaire every three months at each year of high school. The study has been measuring the family situation as well as various indicators of mental health, including worry, depressive symptoms and stress about family relationships.
The research has found that adolescents separated from their fathers, compared with those living with both parents, were more likely to report depressive symptoms post-separation. Most of them were reported these symptoms four to six months post-separation, as well as worry about their the family financial situation, a new family and their relationship with their father.
Separation from their father continued to be a factor of stress even after seven to nine months. However, this was not associated with depression or their relationship with their father but rather with stress or worry about however their relationship with their mother. According to O'Loughlin, the relational change could be caused by the fact that the mother has to play often a new role in terms of discipline and greater monitoring. This can lead to tension between the mother and her adolescent children, added Professor O'Loughlin.
Another hypothesis suggested by the professor is that the adolescents might feel greater anxiety when their mother must face greater challenges in a mono parental home by taking on more responsibilities.
The use of cigarettes and alcohol, in addition, was not related to separation of adolescents from their father in the short term, contrary to conclusions of previous research from 30 years ago, as reported by Science Daily.
© 2021 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.