A comparative study of family functioning and parenting styles between families of substance users and non-users in Grabouw
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Substance use amongst youth in Grabouw has been recognised as a concern by the community. Essentially parenting styles and family functioning are important contributors to adolescents‘ engagement in substance use. Adolescence is a sensitive time for youths as they are faced with many developmental changes; consequently it is vital for positive parenting styles and healthy family functioning to be present to ensure healthy development. However, previous research shows that families of substance users do not function in a healthy manner and tend to have negative parenting styles. The aim of this study is to compare family functioning and parenting styles within the families of substance users and non-users in Grabouw. The study used a quantitative approach with a cross-sectional, correlational comparative design. The sample consisted of 300 adolescents between the ages of 15-17 years in schools in Grabouw. The participants completed the McMaster Family Assessment Device (FAD) and the Parenting Styles Dimension Questionnaire (PSDQ). Descriptive statistics and the Pearson correlation were used to analyse the data. A t-test was used to determine the differences between groups. The findings of the study show that there is no difference in family functioning between the user and non-user groups. Notably, findings reveal that authoritative and permissive parenting styles are the prevalent parenting styles in both user and non-user groups. Furthermore the results indicate that the authoritarian parenting style was higher in the substance using group. The findings also show that there is no correlation between family functioning and the authoritative parenting style.