Family Functioning, Self-Concept, and Severity of Adolescent Externalizing Problems

  • Craig E. Henderson
  • Gayle A. Dakof
  • Seth J. Schwartz
  • Howard A. Liddle
Original Paper


We investigated direct and shared effects of family functioning and self-concept on the severity of adolescent externalizing problems in a sample of 224 clinically referred adolescents. Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed strong, direct relationships between problem behaviors and both family functioning and self-concept. Using R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny's (1986) and G. N. Holmbeck's (1997) criteria for testing mediation in SEM, family functioning partially mediated the relationship between self-concept and problem behaviors. A moderation model, testing the relationship between externalizing problems and the interaction between family functioning and self-concept, did not yield a significant effect. Our findings indicate that self-concept and family functioning exert direct and shared effects on externalizing problems and suggest that interventions for clinically referred adolescents should target both the individual adolescent and his/her family.


Adolescence Externalizing Family Self-concept Mediation 



Completion of this research was supported by grants P50-DA07697, P50-DA11328, and T32-DA07297. The authors acknowledge Cynthia Rowe, Arlene Frank, and Dana Mills for their comments on previous versions of this manuscript


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Craig E. Henderson
    • 1
  • Gayle A. Dakof
    • 2
  • Seth J. Schwartz
    • 3
  • Howard A. Liddle
    • 4
  1. 1.Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthCenter for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse, University of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Center for Family StudiesUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of Miami School of Medicine, Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug AbuseMiamiUSA

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