Risk and protection in the development of problem behaviors in adolescents



The development of problem behaviors among adolescents is affected by complex interactions between risk and protective factors. This study was designed to determine whether selected risk and protective factors described among participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health predicted problem behavior cluster membership. Approximately, 13,000 adolescents from the Add Health study were examined. Three clusters of adolescents (exhibiting normal, problem, and deviant behaviors) and changes in cluster membership over 1 year were examined for relationships to specific risk and protective factors. Findings revealed that factors for current behavior problems differ from those for changes in cluster membership. These results suggest that approaches to preventing problems may differ from those required to help adolescents who are already manifesting problems. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 29: 607–621, 2006