Reframing Social Work Interventions for Families with Adolescents: Utilising Strengths Model
Name and address of the principal investigator:
Thomas Asst professor
Dept of Social Work,
Rajagiri College of Social Sciences,
Rajagiri P O, Kalamassery,
Name and address of the institution:
Rajagiri College of Social Sciences,
(Affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam)
Rajagiri P O, Kalamassery,
UGC approval letter no. and date : MRP (H)-1750/11-12/KLMG054/UGC-SWRO dated 13th July 2012
Summary of the report:
The study was conducted to assess the family strengths as well as the relationship among the family strengths and between family strengths and indicators of adolescent well being. Ninety three adolescents and their both parents participated in the study. The adolescent respondents of the families belong to the early adolescent stage, of the age group 12-15, with a mean age of 13.58. The mean age of parents was 42, median education level of the parents was the secondary level and the mean duration of marriage was 16.6 years. More than half (52.7%) of the families were having monthly income in the range of Rs. 5000-10000.
Levels of Family strengths in the families: The mean score of the parent adolescent relationship was 24.9 indicating a high level of parent adolescent relationship in the families. 63.4 % of the adolescents were having high relationship with their both parents and 33.3 % were having moderate level of relationship with their parents. The family activities were analysed in eight areas namely, shopping together, indoor and outdoor games, joint cooking, cleaning, making/repairing together, praying and meals together. The mean value of the family activities among the respondent families was 3.04 on a five point scale with standard deviation 0.64, which indicates a high level of family activities. 50.5 % of the adolescents reported of having high level of family activities while 35.5 % said that they have moderate level of family activities involving parents and the adolescents.
Adolescent participation in the family was analysed using the indices of Hart’s ladder of participation (1992), in nine areas namely, discussions on family budget and expenditure, major family shopping, family rules, family food choices and food preparation, cleaning, making or repairing something, family celebrations, use of leisure time and recreational activities and outings/holiday programmes outside the house. The mean score of the adolescent participation was 3.38 on a seven point scale with standard deviation 1.33, indicating a moderately low level of adolescent participation at home. About 34.4 % of the adolescents had low participation in family matters which denote participation in family matters without being informed of family decisions. Nearly 33.3 % had moderately low level of participation which includes being informed of the decisions made by parents followed by participation in family matters. About 22.6 % of the adolescents had a moderately high level of participation where the adolescent opinion is sought and considered. Nearly 10 % of the adolescents had a high level of participation at home.
The mean score of parental marital satisfaction was 39.7 with a standard deviation of 5.29. This indicated a high level of marital satisfaction. Nearly 44.1 % of the parents had a very high level of marital satisfaction, 24.7 % had high level and 21.5 % had moderate level of marital satisfaction.
The mean score for authoritative parenting style among parents was 3.98 with standard deviation 0.64. More than half (52.7 %) of the parents had very high level of authoritative parenting style, 31.2 % had high level and 5.4 % had moderate level of authoritative parenting style.
Among the demographic factors, gender and age of the adolescent; and age of the parents were found to have weak but significant relationship with family activities and parent adolescent relationship.
Indicators of adolescent well being: The researcher analysed two indicators of adolescent well being in this study namely, life satisfaction and positive behaviours of adolescents. The mean score of life satisfaction of adolescents was 196.3, indicating a high level of life satisfaction. Almost half of the adolescents had a high level of life satisfaction while 47.3 % of the adolescents had a very high level of life satisfaction. Female adolescents had a significantly higher life satisfaction (t(df = 91) = -3.36, p value<.05) than male adolescents. The mean score of positive behaviours among adolescents was 101.4, which indicates a very high level of positive behaviours at home. Majority (62.4 %) of the adolescents was exhibiting positive behaviours at a very high level and 31.2 % were exhibiting a high level of positive behaviours.
Relationship among family strengths and measures of adolescent well being: On examining the relationship between family strengths and indicators of adolescent well being, adolescent life satisfaction showed a highly significant positive relationship with parent adolescent relationship (r = .507, p value<.01), adolescent participation (r = .300, p value<.01) authoritative parenting style (r = .311, p value<.01) and marital satisfaction of parents (r = .253, p value< .05). The positive behavior of adolescents also showed a highly significant positive correlation with authoritative parenting style (r = .355, p value<.01), especially that of mother at .01 level. The hypotheses stating significant relationship of adolescent life satisfaction with parent adolescent relationship, authoritative parenting style, adolescent participation and marital satisfaction were accepted. The hypothesis stating significant relationship between family activities and adolescent life satisfaction was rejected.
Based on the inter relationships among family strengths and indicators of adolescent well being the researcher regressed four family strengths for predicting adolescent life satisfaction. The results of the stepwise analysis revealed that out of the four factors adolescent parent relationship and authoritative parenting style were significant predictors of adolescent life satisfaction (F= 13.5, p< .01). Overall, the model explained 32% of the variance in adolescent life satisfaction (R =.562, R2 = .315, p<.01).
Outcomes of the research
Based on the research, two papers titled, “Family and Community Collaborations for Positive Adolescent Development: A Strength Based Approach” and “A Sociological Analysis of Parenting Challenges and the way Ahead” have been presented by the researcher in two international conferences in 2014. Two articles have been accepted for publication in the Rajagiri Journal of Social Development and the Indian Journal of Family Studies.