Maguire, E. R., & Fishbein, D. H. (2016). The influence of family characteristics on problem behaviors in a sample of high-risk Caribbean adolescents. Family Relations, 65, 120-133.


Drawing on the social development model, this paper examines family risk and protective factors thought to influence problem behaviors among adolescents. Specifically, we estimate the impact of five family risk factors and three family protective factors on a variety of antisocial and health risk behaviors. Data are drawn from a sample of nearly 2,500 adolescents attending high-risk schools in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing nation in the eastern Caribbean. The findings show that certain family risk factors play a more consistent role in shaping adolescent problem behaviors than others. In particular, adult history of anti-social behavior and parental attitudes favorable toward anti-social behavior and substance use emerge as the most robust risk factors. In accordance with some previous research, measures of family protective factors exerted only a minimal influence on behavioral outcomes. This finding confirms the need for additional theory and research on the protective factors that help to reduce problem behavior among adolescents, particularly in developing nations.

Year: 2016
Language: English
Type: Journal article
Topic: Violent crime, Measurement, Caribbean criminology, Adolescent risk and protection
Methodologies: Measurement model, Cross-sectional model