Rural and non-rural African American youth: Does context matter in the etiology of problem behaviors?

Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Maureen A. Young

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The current study provides new information on the etiology of adolescent problem behaviors in African American youth by testing the importance of known predictors, namely parenting measures (monitoring, support, and communication), peers, and neighborhood characteristics across rural and non-rural developmental contexts. More specifically, the study examined whether rural versus non-rural developmental contexts moderated the relationships between known predictors and a variety of problem behaviors (alcohol use, drug use, delinquency, and violence). Data were collected from N = 687 rural and N = 182 non-rural African American adolescents (mean age = 15.8 years). Findings indicate that both parenting constructs and peer deviance had significant effects on problem behaviors and that these effects were consistent across rural and non-rural developmental contexts. The study results are discussed in terms of their implications for ecological frameworks for testing problem behavior etiology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)798-811
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
    Volume37
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 2008

    Keywords

    • African American adolescents
    • Family process
    • Neighborhood effects
    • Parenting
    • Rural versus non-rural
    • Violence

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