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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Achenbach, T., & Edelbrock, C. (1991). Manual for the child behaviour checklist. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Alegria, M. (2009). The challenge of acculturation measures: What are we missing? A commentary on Thomson & Hoffman-Goetz. Social Science & Medicine, 69(7), 996–998.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. (2013). Auxiliary variables in mixture modeling: 3-step approaches using Mplus. Mplus Web Notes, 15, 1–24.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barnes, H. L., & Olson, D. H. (1985). Parent-adolescent communication and the circumplex model. Child Development, 56(2), 438–447.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Birman, D. (1998). Biculturalism and perceived competence of Latino immigrant adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 26(3), 335–354.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bond, L., Butler, H., Thomas, L., Carlin, J., Glover, S., Bowes, G., & Patton, G. (2007). Social and school connectedness in early secondary school as predictors of late teenage substance use, mental health, and academic outcomes. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(4), 357.e9–357.e18.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by design and nature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61(4), 1–162.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Diagnoses of HIV infection among adolescents and young adults in the United States and six dependent areas, 2010–2014. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report, 21(3), 1–58.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Clark, S. L. (2010). Mixture modeling with behavioral data. Los Angeles, CA.: University of California.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Collins, L. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2010). Latent class and latent transition analysis: With applications in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  12. DiClemente, R. J., Crittenden, C. P., Rose, E., Sales, J. M., Wingood, G. M., Crosby, R. A., & Salazar, L. F. (2008). Psychosocial predictors of HIV-associated sexual behaviors and the efficacy of prevention interventions in adolescents at-risk for HIV infection: What works and what doesn’t work. Psychosomatic Medicine, 70(5), 598–605.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Farrelly, C., Cordova, D., Huang, S., Estrada, Y., & Prado, G. (2013). The role of acculturation and family functioning in predicting HIV risk behaviors among Hispanic delinquent youth. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 15(3), 476–483.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Formoso, D., Gonzales, N. A., & Aiken, L. S. (2000). Family conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing behavior: Protective factors. American Journal of Community Psychology, 28(2), 175–199.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Gorman-Smith, D., Tolan, P. H., Zelli, A., & Huesmann, L. R. (1996). The relation of family functioning to violence among inner-city minority youths. Journal of Family Psychology, 10(2), 115–129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Henderson, C. E., Dakof, G. A., Schwartz, S. J., & Liddle, H. A. (2006). Family functioning, self-concept, and severity of adolescent externalizing problems. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15(6), 721–731.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Jemmott, III, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., & Fong, G. T. (1998). Abstinence and safer sex HIV risk-reduction interventions for African American adolescents: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 279(19), 1529–1536.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Jessor, R. (1992). Risk behavior in adolescence: A psychosocial framework for understanding and action. Developmental Review, 12(4), 374–390.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Johnston, L., O’Malley, P., Bachman, J., & Schulenberg, J. (2013). Monitoring the future national results on drug use: 2012 overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Malcolm, S., Huang, S., Cordova, D., Freitas, D., Arzon, M., Jimenez, G. L., et al. (2013). Predicting condom use attitudes, norms, and control beliefs in Hispanic problem behavior youth: The effects of family functioning and parent–adolescent communication about sex on condom use. Health Education & Behavior, 40(4), 384–391.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Maton, K. I., & Schellenbach, C. J. (2005). Investing in children, youth, families, and communities: Strengths based research and policy. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, 9(2), 256–259.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Muthén, L., April 5, 2013. [Mplus discussion].

  23. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2012). Mplus User’s Guide. 7th edn. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Nylund, K. L., Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. O. (2007). Deciding on the number of classes in latent class analysis and growth mixture modeling: A monte carlo simulation study. Structural Equation Modeling, 14(4), 535–569.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. O’Connell, M. E., Boat, T., & Warner, K. E. (2009). Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: Progress and possibilities. Washington, DC, WA: National Academies Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Pantin, H. (1996). Scale of parent relationship with peers. Miami, FL: University of Miami. Unpublished Manuscript.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Pantin, H., Prado, G., Lopez, B., Huang, S., Tapia, M. I., Schwartz, S. J., et al. (2009). A randomized controlled trial of Familias Unidas for Hispanic adolescents with behavior problems. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(9), 987–995.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  28. Prado, G., Huang, S., Maldonado-Molina, M., Bandiera, F., Schwartz, S. J., de la Vega, P., et al. (2010). An empirical test of ecodevelopmental theory in predicting HIV risk behaviors among hispanic youth. Health Education & Behavior, 37(1), 97–114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Prado, G., Pantin, H., Huang, S., Cordova, D., Tapia, M. I., Velazquez, M.-R., et al. (2012). Effects of a family intervention in reducing HIV risk behaviors among high-risk hispanic adolescents: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 166(2), 127–133.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Prinstein, M. J., Boergers, J., & Spirito, A. (2001). Adolescents’ and their friends’ health-risk behavior: Factors that alter or add to peer influence. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 26(5), 287–298.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Quay, H., & Peterson, D. (1993). The revised behavior problem checklist manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Ryan, S. M., Jorm, A. F., & Lubman, D. I. (2010). Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(9), 774–783.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Schwartz, S. J., Des Rosiers, S., Huang, S., Zamboanga, B. L., Unger, J. B., Knight, G. P., et al. (2013). Developmental trajectories of acculturation in hispanic adolescents: Associations with family functioning and adolescent risk behavior. Child Development, 84(4), 1355–1372.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Schwartz, S. J., Unger, J. B., Des Rosiers, S. E., Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Zamboanga, B. L., Huang, S., et al. (2014). Domains of acculturation and their effects on substance use and sexual behavior in recent hispanic immigrant adolescents. Prevention Science, 15(3), 385–396.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. Schwartz, S. J., Unger, J. B., Zamboanga, B. L., Córdova, D., Mason, C. A., Huang, S., et al. (2015). Developmental trajectories of acculturation: Links with family functioning and mental health in recent‐immigrant hispanic adolescents. Child Development, 86(3), 726–748.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  36. Sullivan, S., Schwartz, S. J., Prado, G., Huang, S., Pantin, H., & Szapocznik, J. (2007). A bidimensional model of acculturation for examining differences in family functioning and behavior problems in hispanic immigrant adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 27(4), 405–430.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Szapocznik, J., & Coatsworth, J. D. (1999). An ecodevelopmental framework for organizing the influences on drug abuse: A developmental model of risk and protection. In M. D. Glantz, C. R. Hartel (Eds.), Drug abuse: Origins and Interventions. Washington, DC, WA: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Turner, C. F., Ku, L., Rogers, S. M., Lindberg, L. D., Pleck, J. H., & Sonenstein, F. L. (1998). Adolescent sexual behavior, drug use, and violence: Increased reporting with computer survey technology. Science, 280(5365), 867–873.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Vermunt, J. K. (2010). Latent class modeling with covariates: Two improved three-step approaches. Political Analysis, 18(4), 450–469.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Wagner, K. D., Ritt-Olson, A., Chou, C.-P., Pokhrel, P., Duan, L., Baezconde-Garbanati, L., et al. (2010). Associations between family structure, family functioning, and substance use among Hispanic/Latino adolescents. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(1), 98–108.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Guillermo Prado.

Ethics declarations

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Asfour, L., Huang, S., Ocasio, M.A. et al. Association Between Socio-Ecological Risk Factor Clustering and Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems in Hispanic Adolescents. J Child Fam Stud 26, 1266–1273 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0641-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hispanic
  • Adolescents
  • Latent class analysis
  • Risk factors
  • Health behaviors