Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 1266–1273 | Cite as

Association Between Socio-Ecological Risk Factor Clustering and Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in Hispanic Adolescents

  • Lila Asfour
  • Shi Huang
  • Manuel A. Ocasio
  • Tatiana Perrino
  • Seth J. Schwartz
  • Daniel J. Feaster
  • Mildred Maldonado-Molina
  • Hilda Pantin
  • Guillermo PradoEmail author
Original Paper


Compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanic adolescents in the U.S. report higher rates of several mental, emotional, and behavioral problems such as substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and internalizing and externalizing problems. There is evidence of common pathways in the development of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems with certain subgroups of Hispanic adolescents being at greater risk. In the present article, we report analysis of baseline data for 959 Hispanic adolescents who participated in one of two randomized controlled trials evaluating a family-based preventive intervention. Utilizing latent class analysis, we identified subgroups of Hispanic adolescents based on socio-ecological risk and protective factors (e.g., parent–adolescent communication, parental involvement in school). Three distinct socio-ecological risk subgroups (high, medium, and low risk) were identified and exhibited significant differences from each other across a majority of socio-ecological risk and protective factors. Adolescents in higher socio-ecological risk subgroups reported greater mental, emotional, and behavioral problems across all outcomes. Individual comparisons revealed significant differences between the low socio-ecological risk group and both the medium and high socio-ecological risk group in lifetime alcohol use, smoking, and sex, as well as internalizing and externalizing problems. Implications for intervention include focusing on specific risk subgroups and targeting shared risk and protective factors rather than specific mental, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.


Hispanic Adolescents Latent class analysis Risk factors Health behaviors 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lila Asfour
    • 1
  • Shi Huang
    • 1
  • Manuel A. Ocasio
    • 1
  • Tatiana Perrino
    • 1
  • Seth J. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Feaster
    • 1
  • Mildred Maldonado-Molina
    • 1
  • Hilda Pantin
    • 1
  • Guillermo Prado
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Leonard M. Miller Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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