Irregular breakfast consumption in adolescence and the family environment: Underlying causes by family structure

Kate Ann Levin, Joanna Louise Michelle Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Data from the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Scottish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) surveys were analysed using logistic multilevel regression for outcome variable irregular breakfast consumption (IBC). IBC prevalence in Scotland was higher among young people from reconstituted and single parent families, and particularly single father families. Family characteristics, found previously to be associated with breakfast consumption, such as number of siblings, perceived parenting, parental involvement and family affluence, differed by family structure. Family structure inequalities in IBC existed, also after adjustment for year and child’s sex, age, grade and ethnicity. Across all family structures, IBC was more prevalent at the older age groups, among those who had difficult communication with their parents, and where household routines were infrequent. Greater number of siblings and lower family affluence were associated with higher odds of IBC in single mother and both parent families, while having a second home was associated with higher odds in reconstituted households. Fair parenting and being close to at least one parent was associated with reduced odds of IBC in single mother households, while being close to all parents was in single father households. In single mother homes, having a working mother was also positively associated with IBC. Family structure differences should be considered when addressing irregular breakfast consumption in adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • adolescent
  • breakfast
  • family structure
  • socioeconomic factors


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