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Parents, teachers and peer relations as predictors of risk behaviors and mental well-being among immigrant and Israeli born adolescents

Authors
Journal
Social Science & Medicine
0277-9536
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
70
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.12.010
Keywords
  • Israel
  • Parent-Adolescent Relations
  • Immigration
  • Significant Adults
  • School Environment
  • Risk Behaviors
  • Well-Being
  • Adolescents
Disciplines
  • Psychology

Abstract

Abstract This study examines the roles of parents (monitoring, involvement and support at school), teachers (support) and peers (excess time spent with friends, peer rejection at school) in predicting risk behaviors (smoking and drinking) and mental well-being among 3499 Israeli-born and 434 immigrant adolescents ages 11, 13 and 15, in the 2006 WHO Health Behavior in School-Aged Children cross-national survey. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) showed that for native Israeli youth, in line with previous developmental literature, all three relationships – parents, teachers and peers – have a significant impact on both mental well-being and risk behaviors. However, for immigrant adolescents, it was the school environment (parental support at school, teacher support and peer relationships) that proved to be the significant predictor of risk behaviors and mental health outcomes. These findings suggest that the school is an important social support in the health and mental well-being of immigrant schoolchildren.

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