Mexican American adolescents have higher rates of externalizing problems than their peers from other ethnic and racial groups. To begin the process of understanding factors related to externalizing problems in this population, this study used the social development model (SDM) and prospective data across the transition to junior high school from 750 diverse Mexican American families. In addition, the authors examined whether familism values provided a protective effect for relations within the model. Results showed that the SDM worked well for this sample. As expected, association with deviant peers was the primary predictor of externalizing behaviors. There was support for a protective effect in that adolescents with higher familism values had slower rates of increase in association with deviant peers from 5th to 7th grades than those with lower familism values. Future research needs to determine whether additional culturally appropriate modifications of the SDM would increase its usefulness for Mexican American adolescents.
- Externalizing problems
- Mexican Americans
- Social development model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies