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Living Conditions of Children 2017–2018

One in three girls does not talk to her parents when she has concerns

Statistical news from Statistics Sweden 2019-05-24 9.30

Among girls aged 16–18 years, 3 out of 10 do not confide in their parents when they have concerns or are worried. Girls choose to talk to someone else instead. Among boys in the same age, the corresponding figure is 2 out of 10.

The Living Conditions Survey of Children measures the conditions of children in their everyday life. The survey includes statistics on who the children confide in when they have concerns or are worried, what sleeping problems they have and how they get along with their parents.

Only three percent confide in their father

When asked who the children talk to when they have concerns or worry about something, they can indicate several people, both within the family and outside the family. In total, 8 out of 10 children talk to one or both of their parents when they have concerns or if they are worried.

Both mother and father – Just over half of all children generally confide in both their mother and their father. Among boys, this percentage is higher than among girls, 61 percent and 43 percent respectively

Only mother – In addition, there are children who only choose to confide in their mother, which applies to 27 percent of the children. This percentage is higher among girls than among boys, 35 percent compared to 19 percent.

Only father – Three percent of the children only confide in their father, and this percentage is the same among both girls and boys.

Someone other than the parents – Sixteen percent of the children choose to not confide in either parent, and instead talk to someone else. This may be a friend, an adult at school, siblings or grandparents. Confiding in someone other than the parents is most common among older children aged 16–18 years. Among the older children, 30 percent of the girls choose this alternative, compared with 18 percent of the boys.

Do not confide in anyone – The remaining children, that is, those who do not confide in anyone at all, neither within the family or outside the family, account for 1 percent.

Which of the parents the children talk to when they have concerns or are worried. 12–18 year-olds, 2017–2018

Chart: Which of the parents the children talk to when they have concerns or are worried. 12–18 year-olds, 2017–2018

There may be several reasons that determine whom the child confides in with concerns or worries. For example, the child’s living conditions and accessibility to the parents. Children who live with a single parent and only talk to their mother when they have concerns or are worried account for 48 percent, which is higher than the corresponding 21 percent of children who live with parents living together. This may be due to the fact that among children who do not live with both their parents, it is more common for them to live with their mother, which means it may be easier to turn to the mother.

One third of children have trouble falling asleep

Having concerns and feeling worried may generally affect sleep and how you feel. One third (34 percent) of the children have trouble falling asleep at least once per week and one fourth (24 percent) have stated that they sleep poorly during the night at least once a week. In a comparison between boys and girls, sleeping problems are more common among girls than among boys.

Among the girls, 39 percent have had trouble falling asleep at least once a week, compared with 30 percent among the boys. Sleeping poorly at night at least once a week applies to 29 percent of the girls and 21 percent of the boys.

Trouble falling asleep and sleeping poorly increases with the children’s age. Among the youngest children, 12–15 years, 30 percent have had trouble falling asleep in the evening at least once a week, which then increases to 40 percent among the older children, 16–18 years. With regard to sleeping poorly at night at least once a week, the corresponding percentages in a comparison between the age groups are 16 percent and 36 percent respectively.

Sleeping problems may be one of the reasons why children feel tired in school, which 6 out of 10 children do at least once a week. It is more common among the older children (16–18 years), where 7 out of 10 feel tired in school, compared with 5 out of 10 among the younger children (12–15 years). There is no difference in this respect between girls and boys.

Nearly all children get along with their parents

Practically all children, just over 90 percent, state that they get along with the mother and their father. There is no difference in this respect between girls and boys.

Practically all children state that their mother or father have time if they want to talk or do something together, where 97 percent of the children state that their mother has time and 91 percent state that their father has time. A higher percentage of boys say that their fathers have time, 94 percent, compared with 88 percent of the girls.

Definitions and explanations

These statistics are based on the Living Conditions Survey of Children, which includes children aged 12–18 years. The children themselves have answered questions about their daily life, which includes a wide range of areas. In the production of study domains, information from the children’s parents is also used, which is available in the Survey on Living Conditions. An example of study domains is children living with a single parent or parents living together, and whether the child has Swedish or foreign background. The presented information refers to 2017–2018. The differences described in the text above are statistically significant.

Indicators on whom the children confide in when they have concerns or feel worried are based on the persons that the child indicated when asked “If you are concerned or worried about something, who do you normally talk to?”. It could be someone within the family, at school, or someone else.” Several answers can be given, and these are then differentiated in calculations for reporting.

An indicator on having trouble falling asleep at least once a week includes the children who answered “Yes” to the question: “In the past month, have you had trouble falling asleep any time?” And then answered “Several times a week” or “Once a week” to the follow-up question “Has this happened several times a week, once a week or more seldom?”

An indicator on having slept poorly at least once a week includes the children who answered “Yes” to the question: “In the past month, have you slept poorly at night any time?” And then answered “Several times a week” or “Once a week” to the follow-up question “Has this happened several times a week, once a week or more seldom?”

Indicators on getting along with their mother and their father include the children who answered “Very well” or “Fairly well” to the questions “How well do you and your mother get along?” and “How well do you and your father get along?” respectively.

Indicators on whether the mother and the father have time when the children want to talk or do something together include the children who answered “Yes, always” or “Yes, often” to the questions “Does your mother normally have time for you when you want to talk or do something together?” and “Does your father normally have time for you when you want to talk or do something together?” respectively.

Statistical Database

More information is available in the Statistical Database

Feel free to use the facts from this statistical news but remember to state Source: Statistics Sweden.

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Statistics Sweden, Social Welfare Statistics Unit

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