Parent–Adolescent Closeness, Family Belonging, and Adolescent Well-Being Across Family Structures

Valarie King, Lisa M. Boyd, Brianne Pragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Adolescents in stepfamilies and single-parent families tend to report lower levels of well-being than adolescents who live with two biological parents. Using data from Add Health (n = 16,684), the present study builds on this literature by examining family-level predictors of adolescent depressive symptoms, delinquency, failing a class, heavy alcohol use, tobacco use, and marijuana use. We focus on feelings of family belonging as a predictor of adolescent well-being and find that this measure is significantly associated with well-being in all family types, and particularly in two-biological-parent families. In addition, results indicate that family belonging mediates associations between parent–adolescent closeness and well-being for most outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2007-2036
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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