DOI: 10.3390/healthcare12060641 ISSN: 2227-9032

A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Parental Behavior and Adolescent Mental Health in Mexico: Insights into Excessive Alcohol Intake, Tobacco Use, Suicidal Behavior, and Depressive Symptomatology

Luz Myriam Reynales-Shigematsu, Leonor Rivera-Rivera, Marina Séris-Martínez, Belen Saenz-de-Miera
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Depression, suicidal behavior, excessive alcohol intake, and tobacco use are the main mental health problems in adolescents. To address these problems, it is necessary to understand the many factors associated with them, including parental factors. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between parental behavior and mental health problems in adolescents in Mexico. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT) 2018–2019, representative for Mexico, were used. Households in which a parent–adolescent child pairing was identified (regardless of family type) were selected; n = 8758 households. The four outcomes of interest that were measured in the adolescents were: excessive alcohol intake, tobacco use, suicidal behavior, and depressive symptomatology. Logistic regression models using the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were estimated. Adolescents whose parents used alcohol or tobacco and reported depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior were more likely to present these behaviors themselves (AOR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.17–1.85; AOR = 2.26, 95% CI: 1.51–3.39; AOR = 2.61, 95% CI: 1.88–3.61; AOR = 1.74, 95% CI: 1.16–2.61, respectively). Child sexual abuse was also strongly associated with the four outcomes of interest in adolescents (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.06–3.36 for excessive alcohol intake; AOR = 2.97, 95% CI: 1.49–5.91 for tobacco use; AOR = 5.15, 95% CI: 3.27–8.09 for depressive symptoms; AOR = 6.71, 95% CI: 4.25–10.59 for suicidal behavior). The family constitutes the central nucleus of care for children and adolescents; therefore, any effort to promote adolescent mental health must necessarily involve their parents and family.

More from our Archive