Adolescents from one parent, stepparent and intact families: emotional problems and suicide attempts

J Adolesc. 1997 Apr;20(2):201-8. doi: 10.1006/jado.1996.0077.


Data from a large community sample of adolescents were analysed to investigate the differences between adolescents living in intact families, one parent families and stepparent families with regard to emotional problems and suicidality. The results indicated that, in general, adolescents from one parent and stepparent families reported lower self-esteem, more symptoms of anxiety and loneliness, more depressed mood, more suicidal thoughts and more suicide attempts than children from intact families. Some differences between boys and girls were found. Boys from stepparent families had more emotional problems than boys from one parent families, whereas girls from one parent families had more such problems than girls from stepfamilies. Further, the lifetime prevalence rate of suicide attempts was much higher both for girls living in a one parent and stepparent family than for girls living in an intact family. For boys, living with a stepparent was related to a higher prevalence rate of suicide attempts, whereas living in a one parent family was not.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Risk Factors
  • Single Parent / psychology*
  • Single Parent / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data