A Multilevel Model: Effects of Adolescent Family Structure, Parent-Child, and Sibling Relationship Quality on Young Adults' Mental Health

Bethany K. Wexler Rainisch, University of California, Los Angeles

Prior research suggests that sibling relationships, parent-adolescent relationships, and family structure all affect adolescent depressive symptoms. However, few studies have assessed how all three of these factors intersect to affect young adults' mental health. The present study used a multilevel model to examine whether parent-child and sibling relationship quality, and intact family structure during adolescence, reveal significant mental health differences during young adulthood. This research used two waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, of a sample of 1,676 adolescent siblings in 966 sibling pairs. I used regression techniques to analyze the multilevel data. Results indicated that non-intact family structure significantly increased depressive symptoms in young adulthood. More positive parent-child relationships, and more positive adolescent sibling relationships were significantly related to young adults' depressive symptoms. An interaction effect on depressive symptoms was also found between sibling dyad gender composition and sibling relationship quality.

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Presented in Poster Session 6