Examining the Interaction of Daily Hassles Across Ecological Domains on Substance Use and Delinquency Among Low-Income Adolescents of Color

Jaime M. Booth, Elizabeth Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The increased risk for substance use and delinquency among adolescents of color has been partially attributed to increased exposure to daily hassles. Although a certain number of hassles are normative, especially among family and peers, adolescents of color experience more stressors in their neighborhood or directly related to fewer resources than their White counterparts. These hassles may interact across ecological systems to impact behavioral outcomes among adolescents. This may be especially true for young people living in public housing. Based on ecological systems theory, this study tests the relationship between experiences of hassles across multiple ecological levels and problem behaviors in a sample of 315 ethnically diverse early adolescents (M<inf>age</inf> = 12; 51% female) living in public housing neighborhoods in two large metropolitan areas in the United States. A positive relationship was found between family hassles and both substance use and delinquency, as well as between school hassles and substance use. When the interactions between family, peer, school, and neighborhood/resource hassles were considered, five statistically significant interactions were found. The study results reinforce the role of contextual factors, such as living in low-income neighborhoods and the complexity of hassles interacting at multiple levels of a young person’s daily ecology, on adolescent outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-821
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2015



  • adolescents
  • delinquency
  • Ecological systems
  • public housing
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

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