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A family process model of problem behaviors in adolescents


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    Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708.

Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, A2700, 1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712-1097 (


This study examines the ways in which different family processes and personal experiences of social contexts are related to the adjustment of adolescents in a subsample of 755 mother-child dyads drawn from the National Survey of Families and Households. Structural equation modeling was employed to examine a model in which joint family contexts (socioeconomic resources), mothers’ and adolescents’ experiences of outside-family contexts (perceived social network quality and experience of school stress, respectively), and individual characteristics of mothers (distress) were expected to relate to adolescents’ externalizing and internalizing behaviors through their association with within-family contexts (mother-adolescent conflict, family warmth). This conceptual model was supported by the data. Pathways were consistent for boys and girls.