Proactive parents are assets to the health and well-being of teens

Vaughn I. Rickert, Amy Lewis Gilbert, Matthew C. Aalsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives To analyze parents who self-identified themselves as being proactive parents (PPs) compared with non-PPs who were queried about their teen's health to understand common adolescent health concerns, parenting practices/behaviors around health, and whether their adolescent had received a preventive care visit in the last year Study design Secondary analyses of parents (n = 504) from a nationally representative online panel were surveyed to assess health beliefs/attitudes, perceived adolescent health concerns, frequency of health discussions, topics that pediatricians should discuss, and their teen's last annual visit. Demographics, parental beliefs, frequency of health conversations, and topics that physicians should discuss were compared. Logistic regression determined the likelihood of PPs compared with non-PPs reporting a teen annual health visit within the last year. Results Greater education and having a single-child household were slightly more common among PPs. PPs expressed greater concern about their teens getting good grades, getting sick, and their teen's future (P <.001). PPs indicated a greater severity of worry (P <.02) across all health topics and rated issues of sexual health, vaccines, and stress/mental health as very important for pediatricians to discuss (P <.01). Controlling for demographics, PPs were 3.4 (95% CI 2.06-5.56) times more likely to report an annual visit of their teen in the last year. Conclusion PPs are an asset to the health promotion and the well-being of their teens. PPs were more likely to have their teen receive an annual visit, report more frequent discussions about health, and place a high value on physician discussions about health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1390-1395
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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