BACKGROUND: Family is the basic unit of the society composed of the father, mother and their children although this classical definition of a family has changed overtime due to the presence of divorce/annulment, mutual separation, abandonment including work overseas which is highly noted in the Philippines. This change in the traditional definition of a family impacts their children most especially their adolescent who is faced with multiple stress due to the responsibilities from their own developmental stage. This can now affect the adolescent's view of their quality of life which drives them to seek support from other individuals such as their friends, relatives, teachers and the like. Therefore quality of life of adolescents and utilization of support should be looked into.
AIMS: This study determined the quality of life (QOL) of adolescents in non-traditional families based on physical, social and emotional aspect. It also determined the significant difference of the variables: family arrangement and sex of adolescent. In addition, utilization of support of adolescents was also noted.
METHODS: The study utilized descriptive and exploratory research design and was conducted in 56 high schools in Baguio City. Questions are adapted from McMaster Health Index Questionnaire (MHIQ) and the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ). 394 adolescents taken through non-proportionate quota sampling participated in the study. Data was computed using weighted mean, ANOVA, Fisher's Least Significant difference and frequency counts.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS: Findings revealed that the quality of life of adolescents is not so meaningful in all three aspects of life (mean: 2.35) although it was also noted that the emotional aspect rated the highest as opposed to the 2 aspects. As to the variables based on the statistical difference utilizing independent T test on the quality of life of adolescents on sex it was noted that males (mean: 2.49) have higher QOL only on physical aspect while other aspects did not present any significant difference. Interestingly adolescents living with their fathers along with their relatives have higher emotional QOL (mean: 2.61) as compared to adolescents living with their mother, adolescents living with their mothers and other relatives and adolescents living with their relatives alone utilizing Fisher's LSD. On support utilization of adolescents frequency analysis presented that adolescent mostly utilize the support provided by their peers followed by their mothers then least by their teachers.
CONCLUSION: Filipino adolescents living in non-traditional families presented not so meaningful quality of life hence it can be noted that separation of parents highly affect adolescents perception on life's quality although factors such as the time of separation, time spent with adolescents and significant challenges that the adolescent faces may have contributed to the results of the study. Interestingly the present study revealed the importance of paternal presence in the life of the adolescents since it was noted that adolescents living with their fathers along with other relatives have higher emotional quality of life as compared to adolescents in other living arrangements. Moreover peers are the most utilized support by the adolescents which may have a great impact on the adolescent's values and how the adolescents view their life.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Programs that caters to the adolescents most especially on emotional aspect, including parent-adolescents/ children focused programs should be established in schools and other departments. Mental health professionals, educators and other professionals should look into creating father awareness seminars which emphasize the large role of fathers in the lives of their children. Further research should look into the importance of father's during the adolescent period.