This chapter will discuss the general picture of this study. Specifically, the chapter includes a general description of the purpose for this study, its relationship to current phenomena, problems related to it and last but not least, the reason this topic needs to be investigated.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among children. According to the definition by World Health Orgnanization (WHO, 1948), health is “a state of complete mental, physical, and social well-being and not purely the absence of disease or illness”. In current study, the researcher will explore the children health outcome from the biopsychosocial perspective which focuses on the interactions between biological, psychological and social aspects of development. The biopsychosocial perspective follows the view that children’s development is influenced by hereditary and environmental factors as well.
In recent years, the figure of children with negative well-being problem is on the rise (Kramer and Garralda, 2000). According to the National Health Interview Survey that was conducted in Unite States, from year 2004 to 2009, approximately 5.1% from children in the U.S aged between 4 to 17 years were reported by their primary caregivers (parents) as having serious behavioural and emotional problem (Bloom, Cohen & Freeman, 2010). Besides that, the survey also showed that about one-quarter (14 million) of school-aged children that ranged from 5 years old to 17 years old were absent from school in the past 12 months due to sickness or poor health status (Bloom, Cohen & Freeman, 2010). Among developing countries, Malaysia is one of the country that undergone rapid economic and social changes due to urbanization and industrialization. In year 2008, Malaysia has almost one third of the population which comprised of children under 15 years old and this proportion of individuals under 15 years old were found to be greater than those aged over 50 (Department of Statistics, 2010). This statistic figure has implied that children are important and have vital impact on a country’s human capital development. Moreover, children well-being has always been the focus in research, practice and policy implementation and development. Thus, the alarmingly high prevalence of unhealthy well-being problems among today’s children reinforce the public concern about the current health trends of children in the domains f biological, psychological and social factors.
Over the past three decades, numerous research was found to support the importance of biopsychosocial perspective and clarified how biological, psychological, and social processes function together to affect a person’s physical health status (Suls & Rothman, 2004). Moreover, there are many signals of growth awareness from the biological, behavioural and social perspective in understanding and tackled the country’s and the world’s health problems. Besides that, over the past four decades, the health profile of children is not only focusing on infectious diseases but the focus has also been concentrating on the problem that affects overall health of the children. These problems include emotional, social, psychological, physical and school-functioning problems (Kramer, Allen, & Gergen, 1995). However, little is known about the biopsychosocial well-being of children among middle childhood.
Biopsychosocial well-being is a new perspective that has been derived from Engel’s biopsychosocial model. This model expands the biomedical model by adding in the influence of psychological and social factors to biological factor (Engel, 1977, 1980). In biopsychosocial model, it proposed that biological, psychological and social factors influence and are influenced by one’s health. The biological factors include genetic characteristics and a person’s physiological. These factors seek to comprehend how the cause of the illness derives from the functioning of the children’s body (Santrock, 2008). Besides biological factors, the psychological factors include behaviour and mental process of a person, which involved cognition, emotion and motivation. Behaviour and mental process play an vital role in children’s biopsychosocial well being in search for potential psychological causes such as negative thinking and emotions that relates to health problem (Santrock, 2008). Lastly, the social factors include relationships with other people. In studying children biopsychosocial well being, social factors are used to investigate how the children interact with people such as family or community and the effect of these interaction on children’s health (Santrock, 2008).
Biopsychosocial well being is an important development aspect for children. Healthy biopsychosocial well-being can lead to the development of positive attitudes towards health and quality of life. For example, if a child grows up with positive feelings, he or she would achieve healthy identity, ability to form and maintain relationships with others and handling difficulty (Rees, 2010). At the same time, a child with healthy biopsychosocial well-being can also enjoy success in school (Knitzer, 2003). Conversely, unhealthy biopsychosocial well-being will affect the growth of the children in terms of their physical, emotional, social and school functioning. For example, poor physical health status can affect the children in their school attendance and performance, ability to participate in physical activities (e.g., sport) and social development (Brown, Kinkukawa, Michelsen, Moore, Moore, & Sugland, 1999).
Literature has highlighted that daily hassles is related with the development of children’s biopsychosocial well-being. Daily hassles refers to minor, annoying, and disappointed daily experiences that a person’s experience in response to the interaction between individual and environment (Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, & Lazarus, 1981). For example, argument with family members, feeling pressure by peers in school and homework problem. Daily hassles contribute negative outcomes and shown to be useful in predicting one’s well-being (Vacek, 2010; Lu, 1991).
Children who grow up in the 21st century are confronted with more stress and adjustment issues as a result of changing socio-cultural context and educational expectation. They are facing stress which relates to the examination-oriented education system. Both children and parents tend to pay more attention on education excellence than physical, emotional and health-related outcomes. So, children’s life is packed with organized activities such as after-school tuition classes and extra-curricular activities as enrichment programs (Mahoney, Harris & Eccles, 2006; Molinuevo, Bonillo, Pardo, Doval & Torrubia, 2010). As a result, children tend to have less time for activity that they like or outdoor activity to relax and develop healthy, balanced lifestyle. Past literature has noted the phenomena of “over-scheduling” of organized activity among young children, which lead to a hurried lifestyle that entails certain level of pressure and stress experience (Mahoney, Harris & Eccles, 2006). Besides of home, large portion of children’s life were spent in school. Thus, peers are integral part of children and also the major source of potential daily hassles. Therefore, relationship with peers change and social interaction are important in affecting the child well-being (Vacek, 2010).
During middle childhood, home is another major domain in children’s life. Research has found that home environment is often the potential source of daily hassles in children (Corbett, 1999). At home, family is viewed as a social system. The reciprocal relationship of parent-child and sibling’s relationship not only provide opportunity for personal growth, it is also viewed as agent of conflict that can produce stressors to children. In sum, if a child has good cognitive development, he/she can understand the nature of stressors and learn to respond to the excess amount of stressful experiences (Corbett, 1999). Therefore, if the child is having good adaptation to the stressors, it will result in healthy biopsychosocial well-being. Put differently, if the child failed to response to the daily hassles experiences, it will lead to unhealthy biopsychosocial well-being such as health-related problem, low self-esteem, withdrawal and school difficulties (Corbett, 1999; Vacek, 2010).
Over the years, many international literatures support that parental involvement is important for children, especially young children (Nokali, Bachman, and Votruba-Drzal, 2010; Hornby & Witte, 2010). In the present study, these significant research findings offered evidence of a moderating or buffering role for parental involvement in daily hassles and children biopsychosocial well-being. Most of the past studies on parental involvement have focalized on the associations with academic achievement and positive associations between parental involvement and academic success have been presented repeatedly (Nokali, Bachman, and Votruba-Drzal, 2010). Currently, there is an absence of published research relevant to the middle childhood population that has examined parental involvement in children’s life, together with the experiences of daily hassles of children in promoting effective biopsychosocial well-being program. In addition, there is a major dilemma of how parents participate and putting their efforts in children’s well-being promotion (Perry, Luepker, Murray, Kurth, Mullis, Crockett & Jacobs, 1998). Generally, parents always serve as role models for children. They influence what children learn, how children respond to the external environment, and also act as gatekeepers to both opportunities and barrier for children (Yeung & Hills, 2007). Besides that, parents also are the major sources of reinforcement for children and highly instructive in children’s well-being (Yeung & Hills, 2007; Klassen, Miller & Fine, 2004). High level of parental involvement would safeguard children well-being against unfavourable sources such as daily hassles. Research also demonstrated that one of the factors that commonly used in determining children’s well-being is involvement of parents in their children life (Luthar & Latendresse, 2005a). Furthermore, some studies are suggested to investigate the unique contributions of father’s and mother’s parental involvement on children’s well-being in order to identity how would father and mother affect individually on child’s outcomes (Hellenthal & Stephens, 2006). In sum, parental involvement plays an significant role in promoting children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
The development of biopsychosocial well-being in children is also affected by intergenerational transmitted of parenting (Belsky, Conger & Capaldi, 2009). Therefore, another aspect of the present study is mediating effect of parent’s parental involvement. The influence on parental involvement may concern on continuities in child raising practices across generations (Neppl, Conger, Scaramella & Ontai, 2009). Parent’s personal socialization experience and developmental history are strongly linked to affect the way they treat their children and the quality of parental involvement (Putallaz, Costanzo, Griomes & Sherman, 1998). Several past longitudinal studies have proved that histories of responsive parenting predict participants’ later high involvement in their own children life and lead to positive child outcomes. Furthermore, study found that parent’s participation in children life is important in determining children’s well-being (Luthar & Latendresse, 2005a). However, to date, most studies on continuity of parenting quality have centralised on the transmission of poor parenting behaviour and much less research has focused on the transmission of positive parenting (Pears & Capaldi, 2001; Shaffer, Burt, Obradovi, Herbers & Masten, 2009). In addition, currently in Malaysia, the mediating role of intergenerational transmission effect on parental involvement from the perspective of young children and how it relates to children’s biopsychosocial well-being have not been thoroughly researched.
In short, this study attempts to understand the children’s biopsychosocial well-being and how it is being affected by daily hassles, parental involvement and parent’s parental involvement. Therefore, a research was conducted to investigate the relationship between daily hassles, parental involvement and parent’s parental involvement on children’s biopsychosocial well-being. Additionally, current research is necessary because of if the children failed to develop a healthy biopsychosocial well-being; it will caused long-lasting impacts and affecting the children’s later life.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With regards to the literature reviewed on children’s well-being, this part of discussion would outline few issues concerning to the areas of study. Fist and foremost, this research is important to describe how daily hassles that are experienced by children and parental involvement are related to children biopsychosocial well-being. The problem related to “over-scheduling” of organized activity for young children and the increased of dual-earner families has led to significant effect on family such as more demanding parenting role, less quality time with family and greater expectation on/stress among young children. These ramifications on family functioning tend to exert significant implications on children biopsychosocial well-being.
Furthermore, many researchers tend to focus on studying the association between stress and mental health among adults. However, in recent years, there is a shift to the linkage between stress and children well-being problem (Wertlieb, Weigel & Feldstein, 1987). But, among all age group that have been studied, middle childhood has received the least attention. Literature showed that developmental changes that happen at this time may give great impact to the children accompanying health outcomes (Kapitanoff, 1992). Changes that occur at several areas such as physical, psychological, emotional and school will determine how children deal with stressful events later when they grow up. Besides that, reactions response to the daily hassles is different from one child to another child (Corbett, 1999). Same with adults, children’s stress response will cover wide range of domains which included emotional, behavioural and social. Based on literature, inability of children in being responsive to daily stressors will lead to unhealthy biopsychosocial well-being (Vacek, 2010; Kapitanoff, 1992; Garmezy, 1983). Thus, in this research, the researcher wants to examine the relationship between daily hassles that were experienced by children and the outcomes of it on children biopsychosocial well-being.
In general, healthy biopsychosocial well-being is essential for children’s growth and development. There are several factors that could interfere with the development of healthy biopsychosocial well being in children. Based on literature, parenting quality are intergenerational transmitted, in which parents in one generation will adopt and practice parenting behaviour in a similar way to what they themselves have experienced while growing up (Serbin & Karp, 2003). However, little studies have recognized mechanisms that help specify continuities between first generation parenting and second generation parenting. In addition, there are also raising attention that some parenting in one generation does not predict parenting in the next generation, which means that developmental history do not predict parenting behaviour in subsequent generation. Therefore, in this research, the researcher wants to examine the relationship between parental involvement, and the effects of it on children biopsychosocial well-being.
Based on the literature gap, current study determines the relationship between daily hassles, parental involvement and children’s biopsychosocial well-being. More specifically, this research seeks to answer the following research questions:
What is the relationship between children’s daily hassles, parental involvement and their biopsychosocial well-being?
To what extend does the moderating effect of parental involvement contribute to the relationship between children’s daily hassles and their biopsychosocial well-being?
Is there any mediating effect of parent’s parental involvement on the link between parental involvement and children’s biopsychosocial well-being?
To what extend do children’s and parental background characteristics, children’s daily hassles, parental involvement and parent’s parental involvement have combined and unique influence on children’s biopsychosocial well-being?
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Childhood is an important stage in life development. It can give a powerful impact on future development. The result from this research is expected to provide a clearer and more detailed model for explaining the association of children stress and parental involvement on children biopsychosocial well-being. In addition, the findings for this result also explore how individual and parental factors, family background and parent’s parental involvement influence children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
Based on these findings, intervention or prevention program for children that are multifaceted can be developed and held by evaluating healthy and unhealthy biopsychosocial well-being among children (Lewis, Sawyer, Clark & Carbone, 2006). This intervention or prevention program can help the children gain knowledge and improve their well-being.
Furthermore, findings in this research will be useful for parents to identify negative factors and construct a better way in their interaction with children. Parents can use this as guidelines to establish a good parent-child interaction. In addition, the results from this study are expected to help parents in promoting healthy well-being among children.
Finally, the results of this research could become a reference that contributes to general knowledge about daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among children. A better understanding about factors related to children’s biopsychosocial well-being can guide parent, teacher, government, and society in assisting children to response to their daily hassles and develop healthy well-being. In summary, this can contribute to the country’s human capital development and promote a better quality of life.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the relationship between daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among children.
To describe the children’s background characteristics (individual and parental factors) among the respondents.
To describe the extent of daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among the children.
To explore the relationship between children’s background characteristics with daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among children.
To examine the relationship between daily hassles, parental involvement and biopsychosocial well-being among children.
To access the moderating effect of parental involvement on the relationship between children’s daily hassles and children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
To examine whether parent’s parental involvement mediates the link between parental involvement and children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
To determine the unique predictors for children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
DEFINITION OF TERMINOLOGY
Daily hassles can be defined as experiences and circumstances of daily living that have been evaluated as prominent and baleful or threatening to one’s well-being” (Lazarus, 1984)(p. 376 Daily hassles refers to minor, annoying, and disappointed daily experiences that a person’s experience in response to the interaction between individual and environment. (Kanner, Coyne, Schaefer, & Lazarus, 1981).
Daily hassles refers to the total frequency and intensity score that happen to children in the area of peer, school and family as measured by The Hassles Scale for Children (Parfenoff & Paul, 1989). The daily hassles that are experienced by children were measured in terms of frequency, a total of the number of items checked as happened and intensity.
Parental involvement refers to how parent get participate in children life (Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003). Parental involvement has been defined in several ways, such as participation in school and home activities (e.g., Grolnick & Slowiaczek, 1994); quality of time spent together between parent and child, and having close feeling to parents (Wenk et al., 1994).
Parental involvement refers to the total score in Perception of Parent Scales (POPS) (Grolnick, Deci, & Ryan, 1997). Perception of Parent Scales (POPS) measured the degree of involvement in terms of devoting resources to their children, knowledgeable about their lives, and concerned about what is going on for them.
Parent’s parental involvement
Parent’s parental involvement refers to the influence of parents’ own experiences as a child on how their parents participated in their life when they were a child (Belsky, Conger & Capaldi, 2009).
Parent’s parental involvement refers to the involvement of parents of the participating parents in this study. Similarly, the involvement of parent’s parental involvement is measured by Perception of Parent Scales (POPS) (Grolnick, Deci, & Ryan, 1997).
Biopsychosocial well-being refers to the health status of a person, either health or illness that are outcomes of the interaction between biological, psychological and social factors (Sarafino, 2002).
Biopsychosocial well-being refers to the total score that was obtained by children in The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventoryâ„¢ Genetic Core Scales (PedsQL â„¢ 4.0) (Varni, Seid, & Kurtin, 2001). This scale contains four subscale which is physical functioning, emotional functioning, social functioning, and school functioning.
In the present study, bioecological human development theory by Urie Bronfenbrenner (1977, 1979) is presented to investigate the linkages between daily hassles and parental involvement on children’s biopsychosocial well-being. Additionally, Belsky’s Model (1984) is adopted to explain the mediating effect of parent’s parental involvement on children’s biopsychosocial well-being.
Bioecological Human Development Theory
Conceptualized by Bronfenbrenner (1979), Bioecological Theory of Human Development was used to elucidate the function of different environments and its outcomes on children developmental well-being. Based on the assumptions of the theory, children’s ecological environment is constituted by a series of nested structure of environmental influence. Thus, in order to address children’s biopsychosocial well-being, it requires comprehensive examination into the different domain of environments, such as individual, family, school, neighbourhood and community settings. In the present study, the researcher claimed that children are firstly affected by the direct environments (e.g, family, school and peers) and secondarily affected by the experiences that they get from neighbourhood and society. Thus, combination of different related environments from the ecology will increased the risk of children to develop unhealthy well-being. However, the more children experienced and able to response towards hazards in the ecology (e.g., teasing by peers, academic problem and arguing with family members), the more likely children will resist themselves from the threats and develop healthy well-being. Put differently, the more children experienced hazards in the environments contexts and unable to response to it, it will be greater chances to place them at developing unhealthy well-being.
Furthermore, current study also highlighted the role of parents in promoting effective biopsychosocial well-being among children. In line to the propositions in bioecological theory of human development, in this study, parents are conceived as the most influential people in children lives. Parents always serve as an immediate environment or closest layer to the children. Review of research demonstrated that high level of parental involvement could buffer children from stressful life condition and adverse developmental outcomes (Hoover-Dempsey et al., 2001, Lindquist, 1998).
Besides that, Belsky’s model (1984) is illustrated to elucidate the mediating effects of parent’s parental involvement in altering the links between parental involvement and children’s biopsychosocial well-being. This model proposed that parent’s characteristics is one of the most effective factors in shaping competent parenting behaviour. According to Belsky’s model, parents’ developmental history can influence their personality, psychological well being and parenting functioning. Review of research also showed that parental involvement in children life is associated to their family of origin (Hwang, 2001). In present study, the researcher postulates that parenting in one generation may affect parental behaviour in the next generation. But, there is little comprehension of the specific process that may facilitate such intergenerational continuity of parenting. Past studies showed that if parent experienced poor parenting, the more they provided their young children with discordant discipline and less involved in their children’s life (Capaldi, Pears, Patterson, & Owen, 2003). Additionally, according to the assumption in Belsky’s model (1984), intergenerational transmission of poor parenting can help individual to establish high level of parental involvement by stimulating a compensatory process in a manner expressly opposite to own experiences. In fact, in a recent longitudinal study on intergenerational continuity in parenting, which done by Neppl and colleagues (2009) has discovered that poor parenting that experienced by parents during childhood did not predict positive parenting and highly involved in own children’s life. Conversely, several findings revealed that parent who experienced positive parenting during their childhood time was more involved in their children’s life (Belsky, Jaffee, Sligo, Woodward, & Silva, 2005; Chen & Kaplan, 2001). Given established an effective parent-child relationship, this will help children to develop healthy well-being and shield them from hazards. Therefore, in this study, parent’s parental involvement act as mediator, providing one potential explanation as to how children’s biopsychosocial well-being is being affected by the intergenerationally transmitted parenting.
The review on bioecological human development theory and Belsky’s model has revealed several concepts that could be used in current study. First of all, daily hassles that would increase the risk of children developing unhealthy biopsychosocial well-being was operationalized in an accumulative manner as proposed in the model. This was to repeat the assumption of bioecological human development theory that the more children experienced hazards in the environments contexts, the more chances to place them at developing unhealthy well-being. Secondly, the present study sought to evaluate the role of parents in promoting children’s biopsychosocial well-being. The role of parents was explained by the theory where by high involvement of parents in children’s life could buffer children from stressful life condition and developing unhealthy well-being. Additionally, identification of parental involvement into father and mother variables enables this study to suggest and identify how would father and mother affect individually on children’s biopsychosocial well-being, which could be useful in imply gender related intervention program. Furthermore, parental involvement could act as moderator in present study to investigate how elasticity of parenting context in altering the hazard experiences by children. Thirdly, current study also sought to scrutinize the mediating effects of parent’s parental involvement in altering the relationship between parental involvement and children’s biopsychosocial well-being. By considering the mediating effect on parental involvement, this study hypothesizes that parenting practices in one generation may influence by the parenting behaviour from previous generation. This was in line with the assumption of Belsky’s model, which proposed that parents’ developmental history could influence the competency of parenting behaviour. Thus, parent’s parental involvement could act as a mediator in this study if it increase or decrease the strength of the relationship between parental involvement and children biopsychosocial well-being. Additionally, based on idea of Luster and Okagaki (1993), parent’s parental involvement may also have direct influence on children biopsychosocial well-being.
Parents’ educational level
CHILDREN’S DAILY HASSLESConceptual Framework
PARENT’S PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
CHILDREN’S BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL WELL-BEING
Figure 1: Conceptual framework of study “Daily Hassles, Parental Involvement and Biopsychosocial Well-being among Children”.
Drawing upon the research questions and theoretical framework, Figure 1 presents the research model for the current study on “Daily Hassles, Parental Involvement and Biopsychosocial Well-being among Children”. In current study, the researcher will investigate the relationship of different variables such as how the independent variable (daily hassles), moderator variable (parental involvement) and mediator (parent’s parental involvement) affect the dependent variable (children’s biopsychosocial well-being). Children and parents demographic background (e.g., age, sex, race, number of siblings, parent’s age, parent’s occupation, parent’s education level and parent’s income) are included in the research as antecedents effect of them on examining their variables.
This framework hypothesizes three main interactions between the studied variables. There are two types of variables, namely the factors (independent variable and moderator variable) in this model that are proposed to have significant relationship with will lead to the children’s biopsychosocial well-being (dependent variable). The independent variable which is the child-related factor, daily hassles is proposed to have significant association with children biopsychosocial well-being (Path a). Additionally, for parental factor, which is parental involvement will act as moderator to influence child factor and caused impact on children biopsychosocial well-being (Path b). Consistent