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Open AccessArticle

A Model of the Effects of Parental Illness on Youth Adjustment and Family Functioning: The Moderating Effects of Psychological Flexibility on Youth Caregiving and Stress

1
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 5, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Laboratory of Psychosomatics and Clinimetrics, Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Viale Europa 115, 47023 Cesena, Italy
3
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
4
Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA), 20149 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094902
Received: 16 March 2021 / Revised: 18 April 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021 / Published: 4 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Parental chronic illness may adversely impact youth and family functioning. This study examined a moderated mediation model of the effects of parental illness on youth and family functioning derived from the Family Ecology Framework. Consistent with this model, we predicted that youth caregiving and stress would serially mediate the adverse impacts of parental illness on youth adjustment and family functioning and that psychological flexibility would moderate these mediational mechanisms. A total of 387 youth, with parents affected by chronic illness, completed a questionnaire assessing parental illness severity, youth caregiving and stress, psychological flexibility, youth adjustment (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems and psychological wellbeing), and family functioning. Path analyses indicated that the adverse effects of parental illness on youth adjustment and family functioning were serially mediated by youth caregiving and stress. Psychological flexibility buffered the adverse effects of these serial mediators on youth internalizing problems and psychological wellbeing. These findings identified three potential intervention targets: youth caregiving, related stress appraisals, and psychological flexibility. Given the large body of evidence showing that acceptance and commitment therapy fosters psychological flexibility, this intervention approach has the potential to address the psychosocial and mental health vulnerabilities of youth in the context of parental illness, which constitutes a serious public health issue. View Full-Text
Keywords: parental illness; youth caregiving; youth adjustment; family functioning; stress; psychological flexibility parental illness; youth caregiving; youth adjustment; family functioning; stress; psychological flexibility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Landi, G.; Pakenham, K.I.; Benassi, M.; Giovagnoli, S.; Tossani, E.; Grandi, S. A Model of the Effects of Parental Illness on Youth Adjustment and Family Functioning: The Moderating Effects of Psychological Flexibility on Youth Caregiving and Stress. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094902

AMA Style

Landi G, Pakenham KI, Benassi M, Giovagnoli S, Tossani E, Grandi S. A Model of the Effects of Parental Illness on Youth Adjustment and Family Functioning: The Moderating Effects of Psychological Flexibility on Youth Caregiving and Stress. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094902

Chicago/Turabian Style

Landi, Giulia; Pakenham, Kenneth I.; Benassi, Mariagrazia; Giovagnoli, Sara; Tossani, Eliana; Grandi, Silvana. 2021. "A Model of the Effects of Parental Illness on Youth Adjustment and Family Functioning: The Moderating Effects of Psychological Flexibility on Youth Caregiving and Stress" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 9: 4902. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094902

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