Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 43-50

First online:

Qualitative and Quantitative Shifts in Adolescent Problem Behavior Development: A Cohort-Sequential Multivariate Latent Growth Modeling Approach

  • Susan C. DuncanAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Terry E. DuncanAffiliated withOregon Research Institute
  • , Lisa A. StryckerAffiliated withOregon Research Institute

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The aim of this study was to examine the nature of problem behavior development from late childhood through adolescence, to assess the quantitative development of problem behavior (alcohol use, marijuana use, deviance, academic failure) as well as potential qualitative shifts in problem behavior over time. Multivariate latent growth curve modeling (LGM) analyses and a cohort-sequential design were employed. Data were from the National Youth Survey and included 770 youth from four cohorts (11, 12, 13, 14 years old), assessed annually for 5 years. Results showed significant growth in problem behavior from ages 11 to 18. Alcohol use and marijuana use contributed most, and academic failure contributed least to the problem behavior latent construct. Results of the variant model revealed that the contribution of all four behaviors to the overall problem behavior construct increased similarly as children aged.

adolescence problem behavior development latent growth modeling