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Family wealth and parent–child relationships


This study examined associations between self-reported family wealth and parent–child relationships, by contrasting three theoretical perspectives on the shape of the association. The study utilized data from the Norwegian part of the “Health behaviour in school-aged children study (HBSC) 2013/2014”, with a sample of 3383 children aged 11–15 years old. The shape of associations between family wealth and parent–child communication were tested using regression spline models with knots at 1 SD below mean family wealth and at 1 SD above mean family wealth. The regression spline models showed that increasing family wealth was associated with easier family communication, clearer family communication, and higher family support. Results revealed that for boys, the association between family wealth and outcomes was stronger for the lower segment of family wealth, than in medium and high segments of family wealth. For girls, the gradient across level of wealth was monotone, with higher parent–child communication and higher family support at higher family wealth. To conclude, the results from this study suggest a nonlinear pattern of inequality in parent–child relationships across the range of family wealth.

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“Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC)” is an international study carried out in collaboration with WHO/EURO. The International Coordinator of the 2013/14 survey was Joanna Inchley, and the Data Bank Manager was Oddrun Samdal. The PI for the Norwegian survey was Oddrun Samdal (Norway). For details, see

Author contributions

M.E.R: Wrote the paper and contributed to the editing of the final manuscript. S.S.J.: Wrote the paper and contributed to the editing of the final manuscript. E.B.: Wrote the paper and contributed to the editing of the final manuscript. O.S.: Collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. T.T.: Conceptualized the paper, performed the statistical analyses, and edited the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Torbjørn Torsheim.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Ethical approval for study was granted from the Regional Committee of Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK-2013/1494).

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Ramdahl, M.E., Jensen, S.S., Borgund, E. et al. Family wealth and parent–child relationships. J Child Fam Stud 27, 1534–1543 (2018).

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  • SES
  • Poverty
  • Parent–child communication
  • Family investment
  • HBSC