Journal of Research on Adolescence

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1532-7795
Publications
Article
This study examines family and child characteristics, parent and peer relationships, and early adolescent behavior as statistical predictors of trajectories of number of sexual partners from mid-adolescence through early adulthood using data from 527 participants in the Child Development Project. Early adolescent developmental antecedents accounted for modest variance in number of sexual partners. Latent growth models revealed that African American race, more advanced pubertal development, lower parental monitoring knowledge, association with more deviant peers, and lower GPA in early adolescence each predicted having more sexual partners at age 16. In addition, non-African American race, lower child IQ, higher parental monitoring knowledge, and lower early adolescent internalizing problems each was associated with a higher rate of growth in number of sexual partners over time at the ages following 16. Latent growth mixture modeling identified subgroups with distinct trajectories of involvement with sexual partners that were associated with family and child characteristics, parent and peer relationships, and behavior in early adolescence.
 
Article
Adolescents' time spent messaging, exploring websites, and studying on the computer increased between 2003 and 2008. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement, this study examines how such changes have influenced individual achievement and behavior from childhood to adolescence. Greater communications and Internet web time proved detrimental to vocabulary and reading whereas the increased use of computer games was associated with increased reading and problem-solving scores, particularly for girls and minority children. Increased use of the computer for studying was associated with increased test scores for girls but not boys. The consequences are more benign than many feared. Groups that have traditionally used the computer less (girls, minority children) appear to benefit from greater use.
 
Article
Following up on a 12-month prospective study (Linares, Leadbeater, Kato, & Jaffe, 1991), stability and predictors of delayed grade-placement for 84 inner-city. African American and Puerto Rican adolescent mothers were investigated. Based on school attendance before pregnancy and up to 28 to 36 months postpartum, mothers were classified as continuous attenders, returners, before-pregnancy dropouts, and after-pregnancy dropouts. A majority (78.5%) of the mothers were in the same school-outcome groups at both assessment points. Predelivery school performance was the strongest predictor of delayed grade-placement. Compared to the dropout groups, mothers who were in school or graduated reported fewer repeat pregnancies, and more of them sought postsecondary education. Mothers who returned to school reported fewer stressful life events, more family support, fewer depressive symptoms, and stronger career commitments than did mothers in the dropout groups. The implications of early school failure and inadequate emphasis on girls' career development for adolescent mothers' school outcomes are discussed.
 
Article
Behaviors beginning in childhood or adolescence may mediate the relationship between childhood maltreatment and involvement in prostitution. This paper examines five potential mediators: early sexual initiation, running away, juvenile crime, school problems, and early drug use. Using a prospective cohort design, abused and neglected children (ages 0-11) with cases processed during 1967-1971 were matched with non-abused, non-neglected children and followed into young adulthood. Data are from in-person interviews at approximate age 29 and arrest records through 1994. Structural Equation Modeling tested path models. Results indicated that victims of child abuse and neglect were at increased risk for all problem behaviors, except drug use. In the full model, only early sexual initiation remained significant as a mediator in the pathway from child abuse and neglect to prostitution. Findings were generally consistent for physical and sexual abuse and neglect. These findings suggest that interventions to reduce problem behaviors among maltreated children may also reduce their risk for prostitution later in life.
 
Article
Adolescence is a developmental period often characterized as a time of impulsive and risky choices leading to increased incidence of unintentional injuries and violence, alcohol and drug abuse, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Traditional neurobiological and cognitive explanations for such suboptimal choices and actions have failed to account for nonlinear changes in behavior observed during adolescence, relative to childhood and adulthood. This review provides a biologically plausible conceptualization of the mechanisms underlying these nonlinear changes in behavior, as an imbalance between a heightened sensitivity to motivational cues and immature cognitive control. Recent human imaging and animal studies provide a biological basis for this view, suggesting differential development of subcortical limbic systems relative to top-down control systems during adolescence relative to childhood and adulthood. This work emphasizes the importance of examining transitions into and out of adolescence and highlights emerging avenues of future research on adolescent brain development.
 
Article
Using a sample of individuals (277 males, 315 females) studied since birth in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the present study investigated how early pubertal maturation and school transition alter youth trajectories of social competence during the transition to adolescence. Social competence showed strong continuity, with the most socially competent children remaining so in adolescence. Early pubertal maturation and school transitions accentuate individual differences, increasing social competence among more competent youth, but further diminishing social competence among less competent individuals. In essence, facing challenges that require social competence may further separate competent individuals from less competent peers. Thus, the psychosocially rich become richer, while the psychosocially poor become poorer.
 
Article
Successfully navigating entry into romantic relationships is a key task in adolescence, which sensitivity to rejection can make difficult to accomplish. This study uses multi-informant data from a community sample of 180 adolescents assessed repeatedly from age 16 to 22. Individuals with elevated levels of rejection sensitivity at age 16 were less likely to have a romantic partner at age 22, reported more anxiety and avoidance when they did have relationships, and were observed to be more negative in their interactions with romantic partners. In addition, females whose rejection sensitivity increased during late adolescence were more likely to adopt a submissive pattern within adult romantic relationships, further suggesting a pattern in which rejection sensitivity forecasts difficulties.
 
Article
The relations among sexual self-acceptance, communication with sexual partners about sex and contraception, and contraceptive use were examined prospectively among 201 adolescent women. Sexually active female adolescents ages 14 to 19 participated in initial interviews at adolescent medicine clinics and in follow-up interviews 6 months later. Young women with greater sexual self-acceptance at baseline communicated more with their sexual partners about sex and contraception. In turn, those who engaged in more discussion of contraception subsequently reported more effective and more frequent contraceptive use during the following 6 months. However, communication about sex was not related to later contraceptive use. Only communication specifically about contraception mediated the relation between sexual self-acceptance and contraceptive use. The results highlight the importance of emotional and interpersonal processes in contraceptive behavior.
 
Article
This study examines changes over time in ethnic affirmation/belonging and ethnic identity achievement, Spanish language use, English language use, Mexican/Mexican-American affiliation/identification and Anglo affiliation/identification in a sample of Mexican-American adolescents participating in a longitudinal study of juvenile offenders. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II were completed by the Mexican-American adolescents 7 times over a 3-year period. The findings from longitudinal growth modeling analyses and growth mixture modeling analyses indicate that there is heterogeneity in the initial scores and changes over time on these variables that are related to markers for the cultural qualities of the home environment (i.e., generational status and mother's most frequent language use). In contrast to expectations, marginalized or assimilated acculturation trajectories/types were not overrepresented in this sample of adolescent offenders. Implications for our understanding of the nature of acculturation and enculturation processes and the way these processes are studied are discussed.
 
Article
Temporal associations in the relationship between emotional-behavioral difficulty and academic achievement were explored in 2 samples followed from 6th through 8th grade. The first sample comprised 280 students entering an economically disadvantaged urban middle school and the second comprised 318 students entering an affluent suburban middle school. Among disadvantaged youth, emotional indices were concurrently associated with poorer achievement while prospective associations between substance use and achievement were evident. For privileged adolescents, only a significant concurrent relationship emerged between social anxiety and achievement, although nonsignificant trends in the data suggest other, albeit weak, associations. The findings are discussed in terms of similarities and differences in these temporal associations across 2 samples representing extremes of the socioeconomic continuum.
 
Article
Adolescents' attachment hierarchies were assessed in a sample of 212 high school and 198 college students. The Important People Interview (IPI) differentiated attachment bonds from other supportive or affiliative relationships and indicated that adolescents show a hierarchical ordering of preferences for multiple attachment figures. Differences in the composition and structure of adolescents' attachment hierarchies were found between the early high school (9(th) and 10(th) grades), later high school (11(th) and 12(th) grades), and college samples. In the college sample, romantic partners were placed in higher positions in adolescents' hierarchies, fathers were placed in lower positions, and the structure of adolescents' hierarchies were less differentiated than in the high school samples. Individual differences in the composition of adolescents' hierarchies were associated with adjustment outcomes. Friends' placement in higher positions and fathers' exclusion from or placement in quaternary positions was associated with increased behavior problems. Findings demonstrate that the IPI provides a measure of adolescents' attachment hierarchies that is sensitive to developmental stage and individual differences.
 
Article
Using longitudinal data from a subsample of Hispanic, African American, and white youth enrolled in the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (N = 1,419), we examined the effects of both parental involvement in domestic violence and youth participation in organized out-of-school-time activities on internalizing symptoms during adolescence. We also examined the extent to which participation in organized activities protected youth against the internalizing consequences of domestic violence. We found that intensive participation in either afterschool programs or extracurricular activities was inversely associated with youth internalizing problems. Moreover, we found that intensive participation in afterschool programs weakened the association between parents' domestic violence and youths' internalizing problems.
 
Article
Sexual minority youth are at risk for negative school-based experiences and poor academic outcomes. Yet, little is known about their experiences in positive school-based contexts. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1,214 sexual minority and 11,427 heterosexual participants), this study compared participation rates in, predictors of, and outcomes associated with three types of school-based extracurricular activities - sports, arts, and school clubs - by sexual orientation and gender. Findings revealed several significant sexual orientation and gender differences in participation rates in school-based sports, clubs, and arts activities. Further, findings suggested that the outcomes associated with extracurricular activity involvement do not differ by sexual orientation and gender; however, predictors of participation in these domains varied across groups.
 
Article
There is considerable debate regarding the extent to which punitive parenting adversely impacts youth well being. Using an ecological-transactional model of human development, we examined reciprocity and contextual variability in associations between maternal punitive discipline and adolescent adjustment among 1,147 low-income, urban youth followed through adolescence. Longitudinal SEM results indicated that delinquency and depressive symptoms during pre- and early adolescence (Time 1) were associated with increased punitive discipline about a year later (Time 2). When mothers reported less Time 2 neighborhood disorder, punitive discipline at Time 2 was associated with increased delinquency (for boys) and depressive symptoms (for girls) during mid- to late adolescence (Time 3). The costs of punitive discipline for adolescent adjustment are best understood considering the dynamic, transactional, and contextual nature of development.
 
Article
The correlates of authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful parenting were examined within a sample of 1,355 14- to 18-year-olds adjudicated of serious criminal offenses. The sample is composed primarily of poor, ethnic-minority youth living in impoverished urban neighborhoods. As has been found in community samples, juvenile offenders who describe their parents as authoritative are more psychosocially mature, more academically competent, less prone to internalized distress, and less prone to externalizing problems than their peers,whereas those who describe their parents as neglectful are less mature, less competent, and more troubled. Juvenile offenders who characterize their parents as either authoritarian or indulgent typically score somewhere between the two extremes, although those from authoritarian homes are consistently better functioning than those from indulgent homes. These patterns did not vary as a function of adolescents' ethnicity or gender.
 
Article
This study examined youths' friendships and posted pictures on social networking sites as predictors of changes in their adjustment over time. Observational, self-report, and peer report data were obtained from a community sample of 89 young adults interviewed at age 21 and again at age 22. Findings were consistent with a leveling effect for online friendships, predicting decreases in internalizing symptoms for youth with lower initial levels of social acceptance, but increases in symptoms for youth with higher initial levels over the following year. Across the entire sample, deviant behavior in posted photos predicted increases in young adults' problematic alcohol use over time. The importance of considering the interplay between online and offline social factors for predicting adjustment is discussed.
 
Article
Little research has examined the association of parents' friendships with adolescent's well-being, perhaps because the association was considered too distal. However, developmental theories suggest that contexts in which parents, but not their children, are situated may be related to child development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; 1986). The current work examined associations between the quality of mothers' own friendships and their adolescent children's friendship quality and emotional adjustment. Fifth-, eighth-, and eleventh-graders (N = 172) whose mothers' friendships were characterized by conflict and antagonism reported having friendships that were high in negative friendship qualities as well as elevated internalizing symptoms. These associations held after controlling for mother-child relationship quality, suggesting that mothers' friendships may have a unique association with adolescents' adjustment.
 
Article
Effects of Timing of Adversity on Adolescent and Young Adult Adjustment Abstract Exposure to adversity during childhood and adolescence predicts adjustment across development. Further, adolescent adjustment problems persist into young adulthood. This study examined relations of contextual adversity with concurrent adolescent adjustment and prospective mental health and health outcomes in young adulthood. A longitudinal sample (N = 808) was followed from age 10 through 27. Perceptions of neighborhood in childhood predicted depression, alcohol use disorders, and HIV risk in young adulthood. Further, the timing of adversity was important in determining the type of problem experienced in adulthood. Youth adjustment predicted adult outcomes, and in some cases, mediated the relation between adversity and outcomes. These findings support the importance of adversity in predicting adjustment and elucidate factors that affect outcomes into young adulthood.
 
Article
Mexican American adolescents face disparities in mental health and academic achievement, perhaps in part because of discrimination experiences. However, culturally-related values, fostered by ethnic pride and socialization, may serve to mitigate the negative impact of discrimination. Guided by the Stress Process Model, the current study examined risk and protective processes using a 2-wave multi-informant study with 750 Mexican American families. Specifically, we examined two possible mechanisms by which Mexican American values may support positive outcomes in the context of discrimination; as a protective factor (moderator) or risk reducer (mediator). Analyses supported the role of Mexican American values as a risk reducer. This study underscores the importance of examining multiple mechanisms of protective processes in understanding Mexican American adolescent resilience.
 
Article
We examined the linear and nonlinear relations between breadth of extracurricular participation in 11th grade and developmental outcomes at 11th grade and 1 year after high school in an economically diverse sample of African-American and European-American youth. In general, controlling for demographic factors, children's motivation, and the dependent variable measured 3 years earlier, breadth was positively associated with indicators of academic adjustment at 11th grade and at 1 year after high school. In addition, for the three academic outcomes (i.e., grades, educational expectations, and educational status) the nonlinear function was significant; at high levels of involvement the well-being of youth leveled off or declined slightly. In addition, breadth of participation at 11th grade predicted lower internalizing behavior, externalizing behavior, alcohol use, and marijuana use at 11th grade. Finally, the total number of extracurricular activities at 11th grade was associated with civic engagement 2 years later.
 
Hierarchical Regression Analyses Predicting Two Dimensions of Positive Peer Regard: Race/ ethnicity Comparisons Among Urban Students 
Article
The primary purpose of this study was to understand further the heterogeneity of popularity, by exploring contextual correlates of two dimensions of positive peer regard among seventh graders within two highly disparate sociodemographic groups: affluent suburban and low-income urban (N = 636). Three sets of attributes were examined, all consistently linked to social status in past research: rebellious behaviors (aggression, academic disengagement, delinquency, and substance use), academic application (effort at school and good grades), and physical attributes (attractiveness and athletic ability). The data provide empirical validation for the conceptual distinctions among peer-perceived admiration and social preference with adolescents from diverse contexts. More specifically, results showed that within each socioeconomic context (a) some forms of rebellious behaviors are clearly admired, (b) prosocial attributes are linked with peer-perceived admiration and social preference, (c) physical attractiveness and athletic skills are important for positive peer regard, the former particularly for suburban girls and the latter for suburban boys, and (d) aggression elicits admiration among early adolescents, but can also generate their disdain (i.e., lowered social preference). In the urban context, results provided evidence for the salience of distinct forms of rebellious and achievement oriented behaviors among different racial/ethnic groups as well.
 
Article
This study examined whether a comprehensive set of psychosocial factors was equally predictive of both adolescent vaginal intercourse and oral sex among 1,105 adolescents aged 12-16. Logistic regressions were used to examine the relationships between parental communication, religiosity, bonding to school, heavy drinking, sex expectancies, normative beliefs, and both oral sex and vaginal intercourse. Age, gender, bonding to school, heavy drinking, and negative health expectancies predicted both oral sex and vaginal intercourse. Parental communication was associated with vaginal intercourse but not oral sex. Behavior-specific normative beliefs were differentially associated with oral and vaginal sex.
 
Article
Age changes' measures of prosocial responding and reasoning were examined. Participants' reports of helping, empathy-related responding, and prosocial moral reasoning were obtained in adolescence (from age 15-16 years) and into adulthood (to age 25-26 years). Perspective taking and approval/interpersonal oriented/stereotypic prosocial moral reasoning increased from adolescence into adulthood, whereas personal distress declined. Helping declined and then increased (a cubic trend). Prosocial moral judgment composite scores (and self-reflective empathic reasoning) generally increased from late adolescence into the early 20s (age 17-18 to 21-22) but either leveled off or declined slightly thereafter (i.e., showed linear and cubic trends); rudimentary needs-oriented reasoning showed the reverse pattern of change. The increase in self-reflective empathic moral reasoning was for females only. Thus, perspective taking and some aspects of prosocial moral reasoning-capacities with a strong sociocognitive basis-showed the clearest increases with age, whereas simple prosocial proclivities (i.e., helping, sympathy) did not increase with age.
 
Article
Out-of-wedlock childbearing during late adolescence is associated with poverty, both before and after the transition to parenthood. This article compares 2 linked data sets to examine the effects of income level and membership in race/ethnic categories on whether teen pregnancies terminate in abortion and whether those carried to term are legitimated by marriage. One data set consists of ethnographic data from 3 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York, that are predominantly African-American, Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican), and non-Latino White, respectively. The other consists of all birth and abortion records from the health areas of those neighborhoods. Both data sets show higher rates of abortion and lower rates of marriage for poorer people, along with distinctive race/ethnic patterns that cannot be reduced to income differences. The results support the predictions of expectancy theory and show the strong independent role of culture in processes of family and household formation.
 
Article
In this essay, we argue that viewing adolescence within the full life course will improve our understanding of both adolescence itself and the life course more generally. Such an approach makes explicit how adolescence is linked to developmental processes in the years both before and after adolescence in ways that are shaped by broader patterns of social change. We highlight insights from research over the past decade that illustrate the kinds of life course questions about adolescence that need to be posed in the next decade, focusing on connections between adolescence and the two life stages that border it: childhood and young adulthood. Although life course themes cut across the many different topics that adolescence scholars typically study, we draw our examples from three specific substantive areas-educational success, puberty, and problem behavior.
 
Decline in time spent (in mean minutes per day) in Moderate to Vigorous physical activity, United States, 2003–2004 ‡ ‡ Data source: Troiano et al, 2008 * Females significantly less active than males at all ages  
Article
Childhood obesity has become an epidemic on a worldwide scale. This article gives an overview of the progress made in childhood and adolescent obesity research in the last decade, with a particular emphasis on the transdisciplinary and complex nature of the problem. The following topics are addressed: 1) current definitions of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity; 2) demography of childhood and adolescent obesity both in the US and globally; 3) current topics in the physiology of fat and obesity; 4) psychosocial correlates of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity; 5) the three major obesity-related behaviors, i.e. dietary intake, physical activity and sleep; 6) genes components of childhood and adolescent obesity; 7) environment and childhood and adolescent obesity; and 8) progress in interventions to prevent and treat childhood obesity. The article concludes with recommendations for future research, including the need for large-scale, high dose and long-term interventions that take into account the complex nature of the problem.
 
Article
Developmental neuroscience models suggest that changes in responsiveness to incentives contribute to increases in adolescent risk behavior, including substance use. Trajectories of sensitivity to reward (SR) and sensitivity to punishment (SP) were examined and tested as predictors of escalation of early substance use in a community sample of adolescents (N=765, mean baseline age 11.8 years, 54% female). SR and SP were assessed using a laboratory task. Across three annual assessments, SR increased, and rapid escalation was associated with increases in substance use. SP declined and was unrelated to substance use. Findings support contemporary views of adolescent brain development, and suggest that early adolescent substance use is motivated by approach responses to reward, rather than failure to avoid potential aversive consequences.
 
Article
A theoretical model of gender differences in depressive symptoms during adolescence was evaluated using data from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The theoretical model under examination was primarily informed by the gender-additive model of gender differences in depressive symptoms during adolescence proposed by Stice and Bearman (2001). In the model, it was posited that BMI would be associated with perceiving oneself as overweight, which would then lead to a higher probability of dieting, which would be associated with greater depressive symptoms. Participants were 10,864 male and female adolescents. Gender did not moderate any of the model pathways, but mediation analysis indicated that gender differences in changes in depressive symptoms were mediated by perceived weight status and dieting. Findings suggest that one explanation for girls' higher depressive symptoms in adolescence relative to boys is girls' greater tendencies to perceive themselves as overweight and to diet.
 
Article
Social trust (i.e., beliefs that people are generally fair and trustworthy) is important to the functioning of democracies and trend studies show it has declined. We test hypotheses concerning the development of these beliefs in adolescence. Based on surveys of 1535 adolescents collected over two years, we find that middle and late adolescents had significantly lower levels of trust than early adolescents and that these beliefs became more stable and less related to interpersonal trust between early and late adolescence. Results of multiple group SEMs revealed that, regardless of age, adolescents' reports that a strong sense of student solidarity characterized their school significantly increased ST at T2, controlling for levels at T1, and opportunities to exchange perspectives with fellow students increased ST at T2 indirectly, through feelings of student solidarity. The study points to the role of schools in nurturing the democratic dispositions of younger generations.
 
Article
A novel version of Snijders's stochastic actor-based modeling (SABM) framework is applied to model the diffusion of first alcohol use through middle school-wide longitudinal networks of early adolescents, aged approximately 11-14 years. Models couple a standard SABM for friendship network evolution with a proportional hazard model for first alcohol use. Meta-analysis of individual models for 12 schools found significant effects for friendship selection based on the same alcohol use status, and for an increased rate of onset to first use based on exposure to already-onset peers. Onset rate was greater at higher grades and among participants who spent more unsupervised time with friends. Neither selection nor exposure effects interacted with grade, adult supervision, or gender.
 
Article
Companions are central to explanations of the risky nature of unstructured and unsupervised socializing, yet we know little about whom adolescents are with when hanging out. We examine predictors of how often friendship dyads hang out via multilevel analyses of longitudinal friendship-level data on over 5,000 middle schoolers. Adolescents hang out most with their most available friends and their most generally similar friends, not with their most at-risk or similarly at-risk friends. These findings vary little by gender and wave. Together, the findings suggest that the risks of hanging out stem from the nature of hanging out as an activity, not the nature of adolescents' companions, and that hanging out is a context for friends' mutual reinforcement of pre-existing characteristics.
 
Article
This study examined grade and sex patterns in real-time measures of daily mood using Ecological Momentary Assessments via palmtop computers among 8th (N = 296) and 10th graders (N = 266) for 1 year using a three-wave longitudinal design. Participants responded to five to seven random prompts/day for 7 consecutive days; when prompted, participants rated eight mood adjectives assessing positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA). Global depressed mood was also assessed via self-report questionnaire at every wave. Mixed-effects regression analyses indicated that PA modestly but significantly declined across Grade 8 to 11, but NA was relatively stable over time. Sex by time interactions showed that boys experienced greater declines in daily mood over time than did girls. In contrast, global depressed mood did not change over time, and girls reported higher depressed mood than boys. Findings suggest that normative mood declines in adolescence may be driven by deteriorations in PA, rather than increases in NA.
 
Article
This study charted the course of parent-child and sibling relationships from early adolescence to early adulthood and examined how these relationships changed following firstborns' departure from their parents' home for the first time. Data were drawn from a 10-year longitudinal study of family relationships. Participants included mothers, fathers, and first- and second-born children from 184, White, working and middle class families. Multilevel models revealed declines in parent-child conflict, acceptance, and sibling negativity, and increases or U-shaped patterns in sibling and parent-child intimacy over time. Birth order X leaving home interactions revealed that firstborns' leaving home related to changes in family relationship qualities for both first- and second-borns, with relationships improving for firstborns and no changes or declines in relationship quality for second-borns. Overall, the results highlight the inter-relatedness of family subsystems.
 
Theoretical longitudinal model.
Constructs and Measures
Longitudinal model of coercive parenting, youth disclosure, and siblings’ problem behavior.
Longitudinal model of authoritative parenting, youth disclosure, and siblings’ problem behavior.
Correlations Among Model Variables for Younger and Older Siblings
Article
Prospective associations of mothers' parenting processes, youth disclosure and youth problem behavior were examined in a longitudinal design following 244 adolescent sibling dyads over a three year period. For both siblings, authoritative parenting was positively associated with youth disclosure and negatively related to problem behavior, and coercive parenting was negatively associated with youth disclosure and positively related to problem behavior. When the influence of older sibling problem behavior on younger sibling problem behavior was modeled, younger sibling disclosure accounted for the relationship of maternal parenting processes to problem behavior. Findings indicate the important role of sibling influence in the development of problem behavior, contextualizing the relative roles of maternal parenting and youth disclosure in the transmission of risk.
 
Article
Few studies have investigated how mother and father support differ on predicting youths' sexual risk behavior. We therefore examined the influence of parental support on condom use trajectories and its correlates in a predominantly African American sample [(N=627; 53% female; M = 14.86 years (SD=. 64)] from adolescence to young adulthood. We used hierarchical growth curve modeling to examine the relationship between condom use, substance use, psychological distress and parental support prospectively. We found that consistent condom use decreased over time and was associated negatively with psychological distress and substance use. Furthermore, both maternal and paternal support were associated with more condom use over time. We discuss the implications of our findings for HIV prevention programs.
 
Article
This study used longitudinal, multi-reporter data, in a community sample, to examine the role of rejection sensitivity in late adolescents' social and emotional development. Rejection sensitivity was linked to a relative increase in adolescent depressive and anxiety symptoms over a three-year period, even after accounting for teens' baseline level of social competence. Additionally, reciprocal relationships emerged between rejection sensitivity and internalizing symptoms. Rejection sensitivity was also linked to relative decreases in peer-reports of teens' social competence over a three-year period. Consistent with research on gendered socialization, males reported higher levels of rejection sensitivity than females at age 16 and 17. Results are interpreted as highlighting the importance of rejection sensitivity in understanding late adolescent social and emotional development.
 
Article
Concern exists that youth who spend a lot of time participating in organized out-of-school activities (e.g., sports) are at-risk for poor developmental outcomes. This concern - called the over-scheduling hypothesis - has primarily been assessed in terms of adolescent adjustment. This longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of 1,115 youth (ages 12-18) assessed long-term relations between intensity of participation during adolescence and adjustment at young adulthood (ages 18-24). Time diaries measured intensity as hours per week of participation. Results showed that, controlling for demographic factors and baseline adjustment, intensity was a significant predictor of positive outcomes (e.g., psychological flourishing, civic engagement, educational attainment) and unrelated to indicators of problematic adjustment (e.g., psychological distress, substance use, antisocial behavior) at young adulthood.
 
Article
This study addresses not only influence and selection of friends as sources of similarity in alcohol use, but also peer processes leading drinkers to be chosen as friends more often than non-drinkers, which increases the number of adolescents subject to their influence. Analyses apply a stochastic actor-based model to friendship networks assessed five times from 6(th) through 9(th) grades for 50 grade cohort networks in Iowa and Pennsylvania, which include 13,214 individuals. Results show definite influence and selection for similarity in alcohol use, as well as reciprocal influences between drinking and frequently being chosen as a friend. These findings suggest that adolescents view alcohol use as an attractive, high status activity and that friendships expose adolescents to opportunities for drinking.
 
Article
We know more about parent and peer influences than about the ways in which specific qualities of adolescent romantic relationships may influence sexual decision-making. Using data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study, we focus on communication processes and emotional feelings, as well as more basic contours of adolescent romantic relationships, including power and influence dynamics. Controlling for traditional predictors and duration of the relationship, results suggest that subjectively experienced relationship qualities matter for understanding teens' sexual behavior choices. Further, findings indicate a similar effect of most relationship qualities on male and female reports of sexual behavior. However, influence and power dynamics within the relationship were not related to the likelihood that boys reported sexual intercourse in a focal relationship. In contrast, girls who perceived a more favorable power balance were less likely to report sexual intercourse than their female counterparts who perceived a less favorable power balance. Recognizing that the results capture reciprocal influence processes, longitudinal and qualitative data are used to further explore the complex nature of these associations.
 
Growth in depressive symptoms as a function of possessing a natural mentor. 
Mean, Standard Deviation (SD), and Cronbach's a for Outcome Measures 
Growth in anxiety symptoms as a function of possessing a natural mentor. 
Fixed Effects Model for Depressive Symptoms 
Fixed Effects Model for Anxiety Symptoms 
Article
This study focused on natural mentoring relationships between nonparental adults and African American adolescent mothers. Data were collected from 93 adolescent mothers over five time points, starting in the adolescent mothers' senior year of high school and ending five years post-high school. We found that having a natural mentor was related to fewer depressive symptoms and fewer anxiety symptoms over time. Natural mentor presence also modified the relationship between stress and mental health problems over time. Facilitating these natural mentoring relationships between adolescent mothers and nonparental adults may be a useful strategy for promoting healthy development within this population.
 
Article
This prospective, longitudinal study investigated the moderating role of pubertal timing on reciprocal links between adolescent appraisals of parent-child relationship quality and girls' (N=1335) and boys' (N=1203) cigarette and alcohol use across a twelve-month period. Reciprocal effects were found between parent-child relations and on-time maturing boys and girls' cigarette and alcohol use, after estimating stability in these constructs across time. Parent-child relationship quality was associated with increased alcohol use twelve months later for early maturing girls. Cigarette and alcohol use were associated with increased problems in the parent-child relationship for late maturing girls. No off-time effects were observed for off-time maturing boys in the pathways between parent-child relationship quality and substance use. Pubertal timing moderated the pathway linking parent-child relationship quality with cigarette use one year later such that the association was stronger for late maturing girls compared to early and on-time maturing girls. The findings indicate interplay between the psychosocial aspects of maturation, family relationships and adolescent substance use and highlight possible gender-specific influences.
 
Article
This study investigates the relation among prenatal maternal resources (including intellectual ability, cognitive readiness for parenting, personal adjustment and social support), maternal perceptions about parenting and children's temperament when children were 6 months of age, and individual differences in the adaptation of 90 adolescent mothers 3 years after the birth of their first child. It was hypothesized that adolescent mothers¿ pre-existing resources and emerging perceptions about parenting determine not only their children's but also their own later adaptation to critical life events. Maternal resources uniquely predicted later maternal cognitive functioning, personal adjustment, and child abuse potential, whereas maternal perceptions uniquely predicted maternal demographic status 3 years after childbirth. Moreover, maternal perceptions were found to mediate the influence of maternal resources on parent-child interactional styles. The unique roles that maternal resources and perceptions played in determining later maternal functioning are discussed.
 
Article
Friends are thought to influence adolescent drug use. However, few studies have examined the role of drugs in friendship selection, which is necessary to draw sound conclusions about influence. This study applied statistical models for social networks to test the contribution of selection and influence to associations in marijuana use among friends in two large high schools (N = 1,612; M age = 16.4). There was evidence for friend selection based on similar lifetime and current marijuana use at both schools, but friends were found to influence the initiation and frequency of adolescent marijuana use in just one of these schools. There was minimal evidence that peer effects were moderated by personal, school, or family risk factors.
 
Article
This study examined whether family structure was associated with adolescent risk behaviors, including smoking and drinking. Family living arrangements have become increasingly diverse, yet research on adolescent risk behaviors has typically relied on measures of family structure that do not adequately capture this diversity. Data from the 1994-95 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to conduct logistic regression analyses that revealed adolescents in two biological married parent families were least likely to smoke or drink, whereas adolescents in cohabiting stepfamilies were most likely. Those in single-mother families and married stepfamilies were in between. Maternal socialization was related to reduced odds of smoking and drinking. Maternal modeling was positively associated with smoking and drinking. Family structure is indicative of distinct family processes that are linked to risky behaviors among adolescents.
 
Article
Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this paper examines individual and neighborhood predictors of adolescent and young adult survival expectations - their confidence of surviving to age 35. Analyses revealed that within-person increases in depression and violent perpetration decreased the odds of expecting to survive. Individuals who rated themselves in good health and received routine physical care had greater survival expectations. Consistent with documented health disparities, Black and Hispanic youth had lower survival expectations than did their White peers. Neighborhood poverty was linked to diminished survival expectations both within and between persons, with the between person association remaining significant controlling for mental and physical health, exposure to violence, own violence, and a wide range of socio-demographic factors.
 
Article
Quality of peer relationships and perceived peer antisocial behavior were examined as moderators of the link between negative parenting and externalizing behavior problems in school from middle childhood to early adolescence. Data on negative parenting (i.e., unilateral parental decision making, low supervision and awareness, and harsh discipline) were collected from 362 parents in the summer preceding the adolescents' entry into Grade 6. Adolescent reports of positive peer relationships and peer antisocial behavior were assessed in the winter of Grade 7. The outcome measure was teacher report of adolescent externalizing behavior in the spring of Grade 7, controlling for externalizing behavior in Grade 5. High levels of friendship quality and peer group affiliation attenuated the association between unilateral parental decision making and adolescent externalizing behavior in school; this was particularly true when adolescents associated with peers perceived to be low in antisocial behavior. In addition, having low-quality peer relationships and having peers perceived to be highly antisocial further amplified the association between unilateral parental decision making and adolescent externalizing behavior problems. Finally, high levels of friend and peer group antisocial behavior exacerbated the predictiveness of harsh discipline for adolescents' externalizing behavior.
 
Article
We examined factors targeted in two popular prevention approaches with adolescent drug use and delinquency in South Africa. We hypothesized adolescent life skills to be inversely related, and perceived norms to be directly related to later drug use and delinquency. Multiple regression and a relative weights approach were conducted for each outcome using a sample of 714 South African adolescents ages 15 to 19 years (M = 15.8 years, 57% female). Perceived norms predicted gateway drug use. Conflict resolution skills (inversely) and perceived peer acceptability (directly) predicted harder drug use and delinquency. The "culture of violence" within some South African schools may make conflict resolution skills more salient for preventing harder drug use and delinquency.
 
Article
This study examined the associations of substance use, psychological distress, and mental health services receipt with the structure and content of adolescent school-based networks. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we found that substance use was associated with receiving more, but making fewer, peer nominations. It also was associated with less favorable network characteristics, such as low GPA. Services receipt was associated with receiving and making fewer nominations, less favorable network characteristics, and a lower likelihood of reciprocated best friendships. Psychological distress had fewer significant associations. All associations were modest in magnitude. Our results suggest the importance of considering multiple indicators of socioemotional problems and multiple dimensions of social networks in research on adolescent peer relations.
 
Article
Previous research finds adolescent work hours to be associated with increased alcohol use. Most studies, however, fail to account for possible selection effects that lead youth to both work and substance use. Using data from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 12,620), a fixed effects regression method is employed to control for stable between-person differences neglected by previous studies. Results show little relationship between work hours and alcohol use when controlling for individual heterogeneity. Results reveal variations, however, by family structure, with work hours being negatively associated with alcohol use among those from single-parent households. Although exhibiting significant main effects, family and peer processes fail to account for differences by family structure.
 
Observed parenting and adolescent suicidality (multiple-group by sex). Note. Unstandardized coefficients above, standardized below (boys/girls). Analyses controlled for parent education and parent and adolescent age. N = 802 adolescents and 407 parent pairs. nsp > .05; *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p ≤ .001.
Extended model controlling for parent and adolescent psychopathology (multiple-group by adolescent sex). Note. Unstandardized coefficients above, standardized below (boys/girls). Analyses controlled for parent education and parent and adolescent age. N = 802 adolescents and 407 parent pairs. nsp > .05; *p < .05; **p ≤ .01; ***p ≤ .001.
Article
Although studies have established associations between parenting characteristics and adolescent suicidality, the strength of the evidence for these links remains unclear, largely because of methodological limitations, including lack of accounting for possible child effects on parenting. This study addresses these issues by using autoregressive cross-lag models with data on 802 adolescents and their parents across 5 years. Observed parenting behaviors predicted change in adolescent suicidal problems across one-year intervals even after controlling for adolescents' effects on parenting. Nurturant-involved parenting continued to demonstrate salutary effects after controlling for adolescent and parent internalizing psychopathology: over time, observed nurturant-involved parenting reduced the likelihood of adolescent suicidal problems. This study increases the empirical support implicating parenting behaviors in the developmental course of adolescent suicidality. For full text, see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24244079
 
Top-cited authors
Laurence Steinberg
  • Temple University
Jacquelynne S Eccles
  • University of California, Irvine
Mitchell J Prinstein
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Reed Larson
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Robert W Roeser
  • Pennsylvania State University