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Masa, R. | Chowa, G.
2014 | Ghana

Does asset ownership improve family-level health-related protective factors? Evidence from Ghana


Background: Family protective factors may contribute to improved health and wellbeing of youth. Evidence suggests that family-level protective factors such as positive parent-youth relationship prevent young people from engaging in risky health behaviors such as substance abuse and unsafe sexual practices. Because asset ownership can enhance parent’s sense of a positive future consequently improving household stability and buffering against economic shocks, parent-youth interaction may be improved. We examined the effect of asset ownership on parent-youth relationships in Ghana. Method: A total of 3,083 youth and their parents from the Ghana YouthSave baseline data were included in this study. Parent-youth relationship was measured using the Global School-based Student Health Survey. Asset ownership referred to ownership of household possessions. We used propensity score analysis to evaluate the impact of asset ownership on parent-youth interaction. Results: Eighty percent of youth were from families that reported owning at least one household possession. Youth reported above average levels of parental connection and parental monitoring of activities. Results show a positive effect of asset ownership on parent-youth relationships. Youth from asset-holding households reported higher parental connection and monitoring. Discussion: This study finds evidence that asset ownership contributes to positive parent-youth relationships. Ownership of assets may provide a buffering effect on parent-youth relationship in time of economic stress. Our findings are consistent with prior research that has shown more positive parent-youth interaction in economically stable households. Although a household economic strategy, asset development may promote positive parent-youth relationships and indirectly reduce engagement in risky behaviors among youth.

Masa, R. & Chowa, G. (2014, November). Does asset ownership improve family-level health-related protective factors? Evidence from Ghana. Poster presented at the 142nd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, New Orleans, LA, November 15-19.