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 media-tional 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.

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

Landi G.;Benassi M.;Giovagnoli S.;Tossani E.;Grandi S.
2021

Abstract

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 media-tional 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.
Landi G.; Pakenham K.I.; Benassi M.; Giovagnoli S.; Tossani E.; Grandi S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/831796
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