Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 32822

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Demography, Institute for Population and Human Studies—Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: fertility and family studies; parenthood; family policies; child poverty and social exclusion; adolescent health; early childhood development and care; research methods in social sciences
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Institute for Population and Human Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: health psychology; adolescent health; psychosocial determinants of health; mental health and wellbeing; developmental psychology: adolescents and young adults

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Demography, Institute for Population and Human Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Interests: family studies; family policy; social demography; women’s health; adolescent health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID 19 pandemic has a strong influence on young people’s relations with family and peers, schooling practices, leisure activities, inclusion, and participation in the social community and social networks. The adverse socioeconomic effect of the pandemic and the increasing poverty, (mental) health risks, remote schooling, and social isolation from peers and friends transform the role of family and the social environment in shaping young people’s lives.

This Special Issue has an interdisciplinary orientation and aims to collect papers, exploring from different analytical, methodological, and sociocultural perspectives the changing nature of family, family relationships, and social environment and young people’s health, wellbeing, and social interactions.

We invite theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers focused on the diverse experiences of young people, growing up in families with a different structure and composition and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Young people’s health and wellbeing, leisure activities and relationships with peers, social media communication, violence and juvenile delinquency, policy framing of the risks and adversities, interventions, and services, targeting young people and their families are topics that fall within the scope of the Special issue.

(*Contributions have to follow one of the three categories of papers (article, conceptual paper or review) of the journal and address the topic of the special issue.)

Dr. Elitsa Dimitrova
Dr. Anna Alexandrova-Karamanova
Prof. Dr. Tatyana Kotzeva
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • young people
  • family
  • social environment
  • health and wellbeing
  • socio-economic inequalities
  • social media communication
  • juvenile delinquency
  • child and youth policies
  • interventions
  • social services

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 298 KiB  
Article
The Role of Family and Media Environment on Aggressive Behaviour in Bulgarian Schools
by Yolanda Zografova and Ekaterina Evtimova Dimitrova
Societies 2023, 13(10), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13100222 - 12 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2143
Abstract
The article examines the influence of two of the main social environments on students’ aggressive behaviours. On the one hand, attention is paid to the general socio-psychological climate in the family environment and the attitude of the parents towards the child; and on [...] Read more.
The article examines the influence of two of the main social environments on students’ aggressive behaviours. On the one hand, attention is paid to the general socio-psychological climate in the family environment and the attitude of the parents towards the child; and on the other hand, a less frequently studied aspect related to aggressive manifestations of the children and adolescents towards the parents is addressed. The study explores how watching TV shows and movies, as well as video games, in which aggression and violence predominate, is connected to the frequency and degree of manifestation of types of aggression in adolescents. The survey was conducted at the end of 2017 among 992 students in 18 primary schools, secondary schools, and vocational schools/high schools in six different cities in different regions of Bulgaria. A structured questionnaire for the study of aggression in school was designed and was intended for students. The results of the study generally show that the verbal aggression towards parents (insulting and shouting) is mostly associated with verbal aggression towards both teachers and classmates. Regarding the influence of TV shows and movies containing aggression, it was found that students who watched movies with military, fighting and bloody scenes demonstrated more frequent manifestations of verbal aggression, but the TV contents did not significantly influence the manifestations of indirect aggression and physical aggression. However, the frequency of playing video games with aggressive content has a significant effect on all investigated forms of aggression, with the strongest effect on physical aggression. Aggression in social networks is a significant factor that affects the frequency of manifestation of various forms of aggression. Students who bully others on social networks stand out as the most aggressive (verbally, physically, and indirectly). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
30 pages, 2679 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Family Complexity on the Risk of Developmental Delay and Socio-Emotional Difficulties in Early Childhood
by Judit Monostori, Laura Szabó and Krisztina Kopcsó
Societies 2023, 13(8), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13080192 - 16 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2077
Abstract
The aim of this research is to examine how developmental progress and socio-emotional difficulties in early childhood are influenced by family complexity, and how socioeconomic status (SES) and interparental conflict influence these effects. To measure family complexity, full biological families, two-biological-parent families with [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to examine how developmental progress and socio-emotional difficulties in early childhood are influenced by family complexity, and how socioeconomic status (SES) and interparental conflict influence these effects. To measure family complexity, full biological families, two-biological-parent families with half- and/or step-siblings, step-parent families, and single-parent families were separated. Dependent variables include the risk of developmental delay (based on ASQ-3) and socio-emotional difficulties (based on SDQ) at age 3. The data come from four waves of the Cohort ’18 Growing Up in Hungary longitudinal birth cohort study (n = 5788). Based on the results, children in all non-intact family types have a higher risk of developmental delay than do children from full biological families, when controlled only for the basic socio-demographic characteristics of children and mothers. However, controlling for family SES or interparental conflict as well, only children raised by a step-parent have a higher risk. Considering socio-emotional difficulties, children living with their biological parents but also with half- or step-siblings, or in a single-parent family, were at higher risk, even adjusted for interparental conflict. After controlling for family SES, however, only children in single-parent families have a higher risk. Parental conflict and low family SES have significant negative effects on both child outcomes, even in intact families, and together these seem to explain the adverse effect of non-intact family types. To conclude, children’s outcomes in the early years depend not only on whether they live with both their biological parents, but also on whether they are raised with half- and/or step-siblings or by a step-parent. That said, in many cases the negative impacts are due to selection effects, i.e., the fact that children of low-status parents are more likely to live in non-intact families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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36 pages, 2111 KiB  
Article
Biopsychosocial Factors of Adolescent Health Risk Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic—Insights from an Empirical Study
by Elitsa Dimitrova and Anna Alexandrova-Karamanova
Societies 2023, 13(7), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070169 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1759
Abstract
The paper focuses on the association between Bulgarian adolescents’ health risk behaviours (cigarette smoking, vaping, alcohol use and drunkenness) and biopsychosocial factors at individual and interpersonal levels, using data from the pre-pandemic and the pandemic periods, i.e. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) [...] Read more.
The paper focuses on the association between Bulgarian adolescents’ health risk behaviours (cigarette smoking, vaping, alcohol use and drunkenness) and biopsychosocial factors at individual and interpersonal levels, using data from the pre-pandemic and the pandemic periods, i.e. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (2018) and the study of adolescent health and well-being in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (2022/2023). Logistic regression models reveal a positive association with age in both periods, decreasing gender difference in smoking, presistant effect of family structure, strengthened effect of the material status of the family and a differenciating effect of ethnicity at the end of the pandemic. Family support is positively asociated with substance (mis)use in both periods. At the end of the pandemic generalized anxiety is positively associated with substance (mis)use, loneliness has a negative association with drunkenness, and limited social interaction and vaping are in a positive relationship. The experience of COVID-19 infection in the family is associated with higher risk of smoking, while treatment in hospital for COVID-19 of the adolescent or a family member is associated with a higher risk of vaping and drunkenness. Interactions with COVID-19 experience and psychosocial variables reveal a divergence in health risk behaviours, including also engagement in substance (mis)use. Effective interventions, targeting the identified risk factors and risk groups, are needed for promotion of healthy lifestyles among adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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16 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
“Who Will Take Better Care of Him Than Me?!” Perpetuating Institutional Culture in Families of Children with Disabilities in Bulgaria
by Ina Dimitrova and Galina Goncharova
Societies 2023, 13(7), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070166 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
The right to live in the community is fundamental and is directly related to the possibility of independent living for persons with disabilities, a central principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Bulgaria in 2012. [...] Read more.
The right to live in the community is fundamental and is directly related to the possibility of independent living for persons with disabilities, a central principle of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Bulgaria in 2012. The opposite of these principles is living in an institution, and being compelled to reside in a space where one does not have the ability or one is not allowed to exercise control over one’s life and day-to-day decisions. Through oral history and anthropological reconstructive analysis, with a special focus on the cultural contexts and social meanings of personal experience, we explore how families of children with disabilities are simultaneously victims of the local disabling legacies, environments and practices, and key agents that effectuate and perpetuate institutional culture. We highlight the dynamics and interactions of the traumatic images on the legacy of state socialism, the actual barriers during the transition period, the coping strategies chosen by families and, ultimately, the grim effects with regard to the affirmation and implementation of the idea of independent living for people with disabilities in Bulgaria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
15 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Functional Ego States, Behavior Patterns, and Social Interaction of Bulgarian Adolescents and Their Parents
by Sezgin Bekir and Ergyul Tair
Societies 2023, 13(7), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070154 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
Adolescence is a dynamic period of transition, and interaction with parents is important for successfully passing through it. This article presents results from a study of three transactional analysis theory personality constructs of adolescents and their parents—functional ego states, life positions, and stroke [...] Read more.
Adolescence is a dynamic period of transition, and interaction with parents is important for successfully passing through it. This article presents results from a study of three transactional analysis theory personality constructs of adolescents and their parents—functional ego states, life positions, and stroke economy. The sample included 215 students from 12 to 16 years old and 215 parents from 30 to 55 years old. The results show significant differences between the ego states Adult, Adapted Child, Nurturing Parent and Normative Parent of the adolescents and their parents, which are more expressed in the parents. It was found that the life position, “I am OK—you are OK” is more strongly expressed in parents, while the life position, “I am not OK—you are not OK” is leading in adolescents. In their interactions with others, adolescents express modesty, self-doubt, and underestimation of their own success, while parents are more assertive, confident, and resilient in their behavior. The obtained results can be used in different programs to improve social interaction and increase the effectiveness of adolescent-parent relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
14 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
Gender-Role Stereotypes in the Bulgarian Family: Cross-Generational Transmission of Gender Attitudes
by Manol Nikolov Manolov, Ivan Kirilov Ivanov and Velislava Atanasova Chavdarova
Societies 2023, 13(7), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13070152 - 26 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2134
Abstract
This article reports a representative quantitative and qualitative study covering the entire territory of Bulgaria, related to the analysis of stereotypes regarding male and female roles in the family and in the society. The results of the study indicate that the factor “age” [...] Read more.
This article reports a representative quantitative and qualitative study covering the entire territory of Bulgaria, related to the analysis of stereotypes regarding male and female roles in the family and in the society. The results of the study indicate that the factor “age” is significant in relation to attitudes towards the social roles of men and women in the modern family, including in relation to domestic violence. The interpretation of the results enabled the formulation of justified conclusions related to changes in attitudes towards the roles of men and women in a dynamic way. The hypothesis was proven that the tensions between them can be more easily overcome through appropriate differentiated measures tailored to the different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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18 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Personality Development and Behavior in Adolescence: Characteristics and Dimensions
by Valentina Milenkova and Albena Nakova
Societies 2023, 13(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13060148 - 19 Jun 2023
Viewed by 5513
Abstract
This article aims to present the specifics and characteristics of personality development during adolescence in light of the family’s influence on the adolescent’s self-esteem, self-perception, and behavior. Self-concept holds a particular importance in an individual’s psychological and social development and expression. Self-concept contributes [...] Read more.
This article aims to present the specifics and characteristics of personality development during adolescence in light of the family’s influence on the adolescent’s self-esteem, self-perception, and behavior. Self-concept holds a particular importance in an individual’s psychological and social development and expression. Self-concept contributes to an individual’s communication, personal confidence, and independence. The objectives of the article are as follows: to trace some basic aspects of the influence of family on personality and its formation; to present concrete empirical dimensions of the Self-concept of students in a Bulgarian environment as well as their relationships with their parents; to show whether there are differences among the main ethnic groups in terms of their Self-concept and parental influence. The empirical analysis of the article is based on research conducted with secondary school students in 2018 within the framework of the “Modern Bulgarian Education: Status and Deficits” project, of which there were 130 Bulgarian, 70 Turk, and 70 Roma students aged 14–16 and of both sexes. The students were randomly selected from several Bulgarian secondary schools. To establish Self-images and the formation of various qualities, we used a method highlighting the types of personality tests used to register Self-concept profiles, including various personal qualities in different areas of personality expression. Students rate the qualities as real and as their desire to possess them on a five-degree scale from “1”—I do not possess at all to “5”—I completely possess the corresponding quality. The survey results showed that young people to a large extent tend to strive for the construction of their Self-image as open to sociability, contacts, and communication to attain affirmation among peers and autonomy. The article also analyzes assessments of parents’ involvement in children’s lives as well as the importance of family as a value. The main conclusion of the article is that upbringing in the family is key to the development of a child’s Self-concept and success, the value structure and emotional state, as well as overall personal activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
16 pages, 1552 KiB  
Article
Family Structure through the Adolescent Eyes: A Comparative Study of Current Status and Time Trends over Three Decades of HBSC Study
by Apolinaras Zaborskis, Aistė Kavaliauskienė, Charli Eriksson, Elitsa Dimitrova and Joana Makari
Societies 2022, 12(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12030088 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3928
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate how family structure varies and identify its time trends in European and North American countries using data from seven surveys conducted between 1994 and 2018 according to the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The current family [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate how family structure varies and identify its time trends in European and North American countries using data from seven surveys conducted between 1994 and 2018 according to the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. The current family structure in 44 countries was described and time trend analysis of 28 countries was performed. Adolescents were asked whom they lived with in their home to describe family structures. Family structures showed distinct patterns and dynamics between countries. In 2018, in all countries, 73% of adolescents lived with both their mother and father; 14% and 5% of adolescents lived in a single-parent family and stepfamily, respectively; and around 9% of adolescents lived in another family type. In the period 1994–2018, the proportion of young people living in intact families decreased from 79.6% to 70.0%, on average about 10 percentage points. There were no significant changes in the prevalence of single-parent families and stepfamilies, but a significant increase in the number of adolescents living without either parent was revealed. The findings have implications for cross-national adjustment of adolescent health, well-being, and behaviours, and for critical analysis of socioeconomic family resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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Review

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17 pages, 907 KiB  
Review
A Review of Evolving Paradigms in Youth Studies
by Laura Guerrero Puerta
Societies 2023, 13(6), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13060136 - 29 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1519
Abstract
This article focuses on the changes experienced by European youth because of the neoliberal globalised model. It analyses the impact of these socio-economic changes on school-to-work transitions and explores different theoretical perspectives (from the linear to pinball models) to understand them from a [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the changes experienced by European youth because of the neoliberal globalised model. It analyses the impact of these socio-economic changes on school-to-work transitions and explores different theoretical perspectives (from the linear to pinball models) to understand them from a critical point of view centred on the individual. These transformations have caused the traditional markers of passage to adulthood to become diluted, generating de-standardised trajectories with possible “round-trip” states. The aim is to provide an understanding of youth-related phenomena under models described with the sociology of transition, exploring aspects such as reversibility and contextual influence on their life course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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15 pages, 306 KiB  
Review
Children’s Vulnerability to Digital Technology within the Family: A Scoping Review
by Tove Lafton, Halla B. Holmarsdottir, Olaf Kapella, Merike Sisask and Liudmila Zinoveva
Societies 2023, 13(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13010011 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3345
Abstract
Children today experience digital engagement from a young age, and information and communication technology (ICT) use impacts how the family, seen as a social–relational structure or network of two or more people, communicates and interacts in daily life. This review broadly encompasses how [...] Read more.
Children today experience digital engagement from a young age, and information and communication technology (ICT) use impacts how the family, seen as a social–relational structure or network of two or more people, communicates and interacts in daily life. This review broadly encompasses how children and young people are vulnerable regarding digital technology, focusing on diverse aspects of the family. The scoping review includes a final corpus of 100 articles broadly focusing on the term ‘vulnerability’ as it relates to digital technology and the family. The themes identified originate from the articles and describe five domains of vulnerability: (1) extensive Internet use, (2) age and gender, (3) risky online behaviour, (4) social networking as a social lubricant, and (5) parental mediation and care. The studies identified lean heavily on quantitative studies measuring time, whilst depth and context are less visible. Despite a growing body of research, there is a lack of both qualitative studies and research examining the role of technology in the lives of children and young people and how family dynamics are affected in the digital age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)

Other

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14 pages, 879 KiB  
Concept Paper
Conditions Contributing to Positive and Negative Outcomes of Children’s ICT Use: Protocol for a Scoping Review
by Idunn Seland, Halla B. Holmarsdottir, Christer Hyggen, Olaf Kapella, Dimitris Parsanoglou and Merike Sisask
Societies 2022, 12(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12050125 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2644
Abstract
Children and young people are often labelled the “digital generation”, naturally equipped with the skills to reap the benefits of digitised education, working life and communication through social media now and in the future. However, this age group’s use of information and communication [...] Read more.
Children and young people are often labelled the “digital generation”, naturally equipped with the skills to reap the benefits of digitised education, working life and communication through social media now and in the future. However, this age group’s use of information and communication technology (ICT) is not uniform, nor are the outcomes of their adaption to ICT. Shaped by their social environment and socioeconomic conditions, the potential benefits of children’s and young people’s ICT use may vary greatly, contributing to increased inequalities that exacerbate vulnerability for some while promoting health and well-being for others. This paper presents a protocol for conceptualising, systematically identifying and synthesising the literature on which conditions contribute to children and young people being negatively or positively impacted by their use of ICT. Here, children and young people are seen as social actors in four domains of their everyday lives illustrated through the digital ecosystem: family, leisure, education and civic participation. This protocol’s overview of the actors’ navigation within and across the different domains and potential for studying the interactions between the different spheres of the ecosystem may advance the understanding of both the risks and benefits facing children and young people in their digital lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family and Social Environment on Shaping Juvenile Growth)
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