Social Indicators Research

, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 287–305 | Cite as

The Association Between Adolescent Life Satisfaction, Family Structure, Family Affluence and Gender Differences in Parent–Child Communication

  • Kate Ann LevinEmail author
  • Lorenza Dallago
  • Candace Currie


The study sought to examine young people’s life satisfaction in the context of the family environment, using data from the 2006 HBSC: WHO-collaborative Study in Scotland (N = 5,126). Multilevel linear regression analyses were carried out for 11-, 13- and 15-year old boys and girls, with outcome measure ridit-transformed life satisfaction. The study found there to be a relationship between family structure and life satisfaction for boys and girls aged 13 and 15 years. Family affluence mediated this relationship, however the extent of this mediation depended both on age and gender. For both boys and girls at all ages, life satisfaction was more strongly associated with parent–child communication than with family structure or family affluence. After adjustment for risk/health behaviours and attitudes towards peers and school, family structure remained significant for boys aged 13 years only. Whereas difficult parent–child communication acted as a risk factor of low life satisfaction for boys and girls, easy communication acted as protective factor among girls only.


Life satisfaction Adolescence Parent–child communication Family structure Family affluence 



The authors would like to thank Jo Inchley for her input to an earlier draft of the paper. The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study is an international survey conducted in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The authors would like to acknowledge the HBSC international research network in 43 countries that developed the study’s research protocol. This work was supported by NHS Health Scotland.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Ann Levin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lorenza Dallago
    • 2
  • Candace Currie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.University of PaduaPaduaItaly

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