Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 3214–3219 | Cite as

Parental Unemployment and Youth Life Satisfaction: The Moderating Roles of Satisfaction with Family Life

  • Diana Frasquilho
  • Margarida Gaspar de Matos
  • Fergus Neville
  • Tânia Gaspar
  • JM Caldas de Almeida
Original Paper


While Europe is slowly recovering from the economic recession, its effects on labour markets are still visible. The number of jobless families has increased and previous research has shown that unemployment can affect the well-being of both parents and their children. In this study we explored the links between parental unemployment and youth life satisfaction by considering the potential moderating roles played by satisfaction with family life and perceived family wealth. We used descriptive statistics, correlations, simple moderation and moderated moderation models of regression on data from a representative sample of 3937 Portuguese students (M age = 13.9 years; SD ± 1.7; 48 % boys). Results showed that the negative effects of parental unemployment on youth life satisfaction were moderated by youth perceived satisfaction with family life but not by perceived wealth. This suggested that during family unemployment, young people satisfied with their family life are less vulnerable to the negative effects of parental unemployment on their life satisfaction. The relationship between parental unemployment and youth well-being requires further research, especially during periods of labour market crisis.


Adolescence Life-satisfaction Parental unemployment Family relations 



The Portuguese HBSC/WHO study of 2014 was funded by public funds from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and Science. This paper was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), reference SFRH/BD/80846/2011.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Ethics approval for the 2014 Portuguese HBSC was given from the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Health, by the ethics committee of São João Hospital, and by the national ethics committee.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained by all participating students’ legal guardians, schools and students themselves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nova Medical School and CMDT/IHMTUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Aventura Social, Faculty of Human KineticsUniversity of LisbonCruz-QuebradaPortugal
  3. 3.Aventura Social, Faculty of Human Kinetics and ISAMBUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.WJCR/ISPALisbonPortugal
  5. 5.School of MedicineUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsScotland, UK
  6. 6.Lisbon Lusíada University and ISAMB, University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  7. 7.Department of Mental Health, Nova Medical SchoolUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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