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Adolescent Problem Behavior and Depressed Mood: Risk and Protection Within and Across Social Contexts

NCJ Number
Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 31 Issue: 5 Dated: October 2002 Pages: 343-357
Margaret R. Beam; Virginia Gil-Rivas; Ellen Greenberger; Chuansheng Chen
Date Published
October 2002
15 pages
This study examined risk and protection for adolescent problem behavior and depressive symptomatology in an average-risk sample of 11th-graders.
Using a socioecological perspective, the study aggregated risk factors by three social contexts: family and peer contexts, and a context featuring the most important nonparental adult (VIP) in respondents' lives. The study tested separate models (including outcome-specific risk and protective factors) for predicting problem behaviors and depressive symptoms; the models demonstrated divergent validity. Tests of interactions between risk-aggregates and protective factors yielded several significant cross-context buffering effects in the problem behavior model, but none in the depressive symptoms model. Parents' and VIPs' perceived sanctions buffered adolescents against high risk for problem behavior emanating from the peer context. Additionally, perceived peers' sanctions buffered youths against risk emanating from each of the three contexts. Tables, notes, figures, references