Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 185-215

First online:

Multitrait-multimethod model of adolescent deviance, drug use, academic, and sexual behaviors

  • Elizabeth A. TildesleyAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Hyman HopsAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Dennis AryAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Judy A. AndrewsAffiliated withOregon Research Institute

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A multitrait-multimethod design was used to test Jessor and Jessor's (1977) problem behavior theory with a sample of adolescents, their parents, and peers. Behaviors included general deviance, drug use, low academic motivation, and precocious sexual behavior. While research has supported this theory, the reliance on self-report data for the majority of this work may threaten the validity of these findings. Results from hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the convergent and discriminant validity of the seven behavior constructs was high and method effects were low. A two-factor second-order model, representing General Drug Use and Other Problem Behavior, accounted for a larger proportion of variance in the lower order factors compared to a single-factor model.

Key words

problem behavior theory adolescent problem behaviors adolescent drug use multitrait-multimethod SEM