Family-related school issues and the mental health of adolescents

post hoc analyses of the Portuguese national health behaviour in school-aged children survey data

Margarida G. Matos*, Mark R. Dadds, Paula M. Barrett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


An ecological model of adolescent mental health is proposed, based on data obtained from the Portuguese survey conducted by the first author (Matos, 2005; Matos et al., 2000, 2003, 2004), who is the national representative for the World Health Organisation collaborative European study: Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (Currie, Hurelmann, Settertobulte, Smith, & Todd, 2000; Currrie, Roberts, Morgan, et al., 2004 In particular, we were interested in whether parent encouragement for school added a specific effect to adolescent health over and above that afforded by the quality of the home and school environments. A nationally representative sample of 6903, 10- to 17-year-old adolescents participated in the survey. Measures were constructed of physical health, conduct problems, anxiety/depression, family communication, school environment, and parental encouragement for school. A series of regression analyses supported an ecological model of psychological health in which the family and school, as well as the relationship between the two, show relationships to adolescent health, conduct, and anxiety/depression problems. Despite the design and sampling limitations, results suggest that parental encouragement for school can be considered as having a specific positive effect on adolescent health, beyond the effect of school environment and family communication addressed individually.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-275
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent mental health
  • Ecological model
  • Parental encouragement for school
  • Psychosocial adjustment

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