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Prolonged conflict and economic instability challenge the existing support networks in families and society places significant stress on both adults and adolescents. Exploring individual, family and social factors that increase the likelihood of or protect adolescents from negative outcomes are important to the development of evidence-based prevention and response programing in global settings.
Examine the relationship between parent mental health and experience/perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) and adolescent behaviors, stigma, and school attendance. The relationship is further examined for differences by gender.
Secondary analysis of data from an ongoing comparative effectiveness trial of a productive asset transfer program in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Three hundred and eighty-eight adolescent and parent dyads were included in the analysis. The analysis demonstrated that parent mental health and IPV can have a negative impact their children's well-being and the impact is different for boys and girls, likely linked to gender roles and responsibilities in the home and community. Social relationships of adolescents, as reported through experienced stigma, were negatively impacted for both boys and girls. Parent report of symptoms of PTSD and depression had a stronger negative effect on girls’ outcomes, including experienced stigma, externalizing behaviors, and missed days of school than boys. For adolescent boys, their parent's report of IPV victimization/perpetration was associated with more negative behaviors at the 8-month follow-up assessment.
The findings reinforce the critical importance of interventions that engage parents and their children in activities that advance health and improve relationships within the family.