J Prev Med Public Health.  2007 May;40(3):218-226. 10.3961/jpmph.2007.40.3.218.

Experience of Parent-related Negative Life Events, Mental Health, and Delinquent Behavior among Korean Adolescents

  • 1School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea. kimdongsik@empal.com


OBJECTIVES: This study examined the relationship of parent-related negative life events with mental health and delinquent behaviors among Korean adolescents. METHODS: A total of 2,976 high school first-grade pupils (1,498 boys & 1,478 girls) taking part in the third wave of Korean Youth Panel Survey completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding parent-related life events, depressive feelings, suicidal ideation, delinquent behaviors, demographic characteristics, parental socioeconomic status, social support, and social capital. Data analyses were conducted using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: After adjusting for all covariates, the more parent-related negative life events adolescents experienced throughout their whole life, the more likely adolescent were to have mental and behavioral problems. A significant dose-response relationship between them was more clearly observed in girls than in boys. The experience of parentrelated negative events during childhood was significantly associated with suicidal ideation and delinquent behaviors for boys, and with depressive feelings for girls during adolescence. Indeed, parental social support, social capital, and having a close friend with delinquent behaviors, especially for girls, partially mediated the relationship between parent-related negative life events and both outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed a clear dose-response relationship of frequency of parent-related negative life events with poor mental and behavioral health for both genders. The residual effect of being exposed to parentrelated events during childhood on mental health and delinquent behaviors during adolescence still remained.


Adolescenct behavior; Life change events; Parents; Mental health; Juvenile delinquency

MeSH Terms

Adolescent Behavior/psychology
Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology
Juvenile Delinquency/*statistics & numerical data
*Life Change Events
Logistic Models
Mental Health/*statistics & numerical data
Social Support
Suicide/statistics & numerical data
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