Parents play a critical role in promoting adolescent health and development. An analysis of data from six cross-national studies, representing 53 different countries, found that parent-child relationships affect the likelihood of early sexual initiation, substance use, and depression among adolescents.
The study recommends for programs that involve parents and adolescent health and development to include:
- Focus on outcomes among parents as well as among adolescents.
- Specify assumptions behind working with parents to influence adolescent health
- Plan and design interventions carefully, basing them on appropriate theory, research, and knowledge of local culture and customs.
- Tap the experience of local organizations, networks, and traditions to reach parents through mulitple channels.
- Offer a balance of information, skills building, support, and resources.
- Conduct evaluation and share experiences among parenting projects.
The available evidence shows that programs can help parents in developing countries promote adolescent health and development.
To view the full report: Helping Parents Improve Adolescent Health