Family functioning within the context of families with adolescent children in urban India

Hsieh HF, Mistry R, Kleinsasser MJ, Puntambekar N, Gupta PC, Raghunathan T, McCarthy W, Córdova D, Maharjan G, Desai MB, Narake S, Pednekar MS. Family functioning within the context of families with adolescent children in urban India. Fam Process. 2023;62(1):287-301. doi:10.1111/famp.12784.


Research on family functioning within given cultural contexts is needed. This study aims to describe salient dimensions of family functioning in two urban contexts in India and to examine differences in family functioning by sociodemographic groups. We measured differences in family functioning using cross-sectional survey questionnaire data collected from 13 to 15-year-old adolescents and one of their parents/primary caregivers in Mumbai (n = 843) and Kolkata (n = 913) during 2019-2020. We drew a multi-stage sample representative of neighborhoods and households in both cities. We assessed a multi-dimensional family functioning latent factor that included parent-reported measures (parent-adolescent communication, family cohesion, and parent monitoring of peers) and adolescent-reported measures (parent support, family cohesion, and parent supervision). Our results support an overall measure of family functioning manifested by multiple dimensions for parent- and adolescent-reported data. Families with male adolescents had worse adolescent-reported family functioning in Mumbai and parent-reported family functioning in Kolkata. Higher socioeconomic status was associated with better parent-reported family functioning in both cities and better adolescent-reported family functioning in Kolkata. Muslim religious identification in Kolkata and the Hindi native language in both cities were associated with better adolescent-reported family functioning. Our findings indicate heterogeneity in family functioning across demographic and social-cultural groups within the two urban contexts of India. This study may inform the development of culturally congruent prevention interventions for families with adolescents in India.

Keywords: Adolescence, family functioning, sociodemographic factors