Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 158–171 | Cite as

Externalizing Behavior Problems During Adolescence: An Ecological Perspective

  • Rachel White
  • Kimberly RenkEmail author
Original Paper


Given the ramifications of difficulties related to externalizing behavior problems, the present study examined the relationships among adolescents’ externalizing behavior problems, characteristics of adolescents’ families, their perceived neighborhood support, and their acculturation. As part of this study, a culturally diverse sample of adolescents who were in the Sixth through Eighth Grades completed measures assessing these variables. Results suggested that variables such as maternal warmth, overall parental emotional support, and overall neighborhood support are important predictors of externalizing behavior problems. Further regression analyses revealed that, in addition to adolescents’ perceived social acceptance and global self-worth, parental and neighborhood characteristics are significant predictors of adolescents’ externalizing behavior problems. These findings suggested that, when identifying adolescents who are at risk for the development of externalizing behavior problems, an ecological conceptualization encompassing culture, community, and home characteristics can be helpful.


Externalizing behavior problems Adolescents Ecological model Parenting Neighborhood support Acculturation 



Special thanks to Jeff Bedwell, Ph.D., and Valerie Sims, Ph.D., for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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