, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 141-150

Development of Adolescent Problem Behavior

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Abstract

The developmental model of adolescent antisocial behavior advanced by Patterson and colleagues (e.g., Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992) appears to generalize the development of a diverse set of problem behaviors. Structural equation modeling methods were applied to 18-month longitudinal data from 523 adolescents. The problem behavior construct included substance use, antisocial behavior, academic failure, and risky sexual behavior. Families with high levels of conflict were less likely to have high levels of parent–child involvement. Such family conditions resulted in less adequate parental monitoring of adolescent behavior, making associations with deviant peers more likely. Poor parental monitoring and associations with deviant peers were strong predictors of engagement in problem behavior. These constructs accounted for 46% of the variance in problem behavior. Although association with deviant peers was the most proximal social influence on problem behavior, parental monitoring and family factors (conflict and involvement) were key parenting practices that influenced this developmental process.