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Child Care Health Dev. 2016 Jan;42(1):36-41. doi: 10.1111/cch.12266. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

Parent-adolescent relationship in youths with a chronic condition.

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Research Group on Adolescent Health (GRSA/IUMSP), Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland.



Suffering from a chronic disease or disability (CDD) during adolescence can be a burden for both the adolescents and their parents. The aim of the present study is to assess how living with a CDD during adolescence, the quality of parent-adolescent relationship (PAR) and the adolescent's psychosocial development interact with each other.


Using the Swiss Multicenter Adolescent Survey on Health 2002 (SMASH02) database, we compared adolescents aged 16-20 years with a CDD (n = 760) with their healthy peers (n = 6493) on sociodemographics, adolescents' general and psychosocial health, interparental relationship and PAR.


Bivariate analyses showed that adolescents with a CDD had a poorer psychosocial health and a more difficult relationship with their parents. The log-linear model indirectly linked CDD and poor PAR through four variables: two of the adolescents' psychosocial health variables (suicide attempt and sensation seeking), the need for help regarding difficulties with parents and a highly educated mother that acted as a protective factor, allowing for a better parent-adolescent with a CDD relationship.


It is essential for health professionals taking care of adolescents with a CDD to distinguish between issues in relation with the CDD from other psychosocial difficulties, in order to help these adolescents and their parents deal with them appropriately and thus maintain a healthy PAR.


adolescence; adolescent psychosocial development; chronic condition; parent-adolescent relationship

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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