The Association of Family-Related Adversity With Fighting in Adolescents: Does Hopelessness Mediate This Association?

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Objectives: To explore the association of family-related adversities with physical fighting, and whether this association is mediated by hopelessness.

Methods: The sample consisted of 3712 Slovak adolescents (mean age: 13.9, 50.7% girls). Participants answered questions regarding experienced family-related adversities, involvement in physical fighting in the last 12 months and the Hopelessness Questionnaire. First, the association of family adversities in general with fighting and of each of family-related adversity separately was assessed using linear regression models and second, mediation was assessed using the a*b product method with bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals

Results: Adolescents who had experienced at least one family adversity reported more frequent fighting. Similarly, each of reported family adversities (death of a parent, substance abuse problems of a parent, conflicts/physical fights, divorce) was associated with more frequent fighting among adolescents. The mediation effect of hopelessness was found in each association of family-related adversity with fighting.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that interventions to support adolescents who had experienced family adversities could among other things be directed at better coping with hopelessness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number607199
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 29-Mar-2021


  • family-related adversities
  • fighting
  • hopelessness
  • adolescents
  • HBSC study

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