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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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.

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Correspondence to Diana Frasquilho.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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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.

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

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Frasquilho, D., de Matos, M.G., Neville, F. et al. Parental Unemployment and Youth Life Satisfaction: The Moderating Roles of Satisfaction with Family Life. J Child Fam Stud 25, 3214–3219 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0480-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0480-z

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Life-satisfaction
  • Parental unemployment
  • Family relations