Child Indicators Research

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 307–327 | Cite as

Social-Ecological Antecedents of Oppositional-Defiant Behavior in U.S. Schools: Findings from a Nationally Representative Sample of Early Adolescents

  • Jun Sung HongEmail author
  • Dorothy L. Espelage
  • Johnny S. Kim


This study examines social-ecological antecedents of oppositional-defiant school behavior among early adolescents in the U.S. (ages 12–14; n = 733). Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the sample was drawn from the mother-child dataset, which included youth who, in the first of two years in the study (2002 or 2004), were living with their mothers and were enrolled in school. Participants had to have responded to at least one of the 13 items from a self-administered survey and their mothers had to have responded to at least one of the two items measuring oppositional-defiant school behavior in Time 1 (2002 or 2004; age 10 or 12) and Time 2 (2004 or 2006; age 12 or 14). Male sex, oppositional-defiant school behavior in Time 1, lack of cognitive stimulation, and negative peer influence were associated with oppositional-defiant school behavior in Time 2. The implications for practice from this study are discussed.


Disobedience Early adolescence Oppositional-defiant behavior School services Social-ecological framework 



The first-noted author would like to thank Dr. Mary Keegan Eamon, Associate Professor Emerita in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her guidance and feedback contributed tremendously to this article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors received no internal or external funding for this study and declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Statements

Because the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) is a publicly available dataset, which does not allow for identification of the participants, the present study was exempted from Institutional Review Board oversight.

Human Participants/Animals

Because NLSY is a publicly available dataset, there are no ethical issues with regards to human participants/animals in the present study.

Informed Consent

Because NLSY is a publicly available dataset, there are no ethical issues with regards to informed consent in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Sung Hong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dorothy L. Espelage
    • 3
  • Johnny S. Kim
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social WorkWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social WelfareSungkyunkwan UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Graduate School of Social WorkUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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