This paper develops measures of family risk and protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors and tests the effects of these measures on three health risk behaviors in a Caribbean nation: illegal gun ownership, gang membership, and drug use. Data are drawn from a sample of 2,376 adolescents in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing nation in the eastern Caribbean. Descriptive statistics are reported, as well as findings from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation models. Existing measures of family risk and protective factors have weak construct and concurrent validity when applied to a sample of youth from Trinidad and Tobago. The revised measures developed in this study have stronger construct validity and some of them have a significant influence on one or more health risk behaviors. From a methodological perspective, the findings are useful for thinking about the validity of existing measures of family risk and protective factors, especially for use in settings distant from where they were developed. From a substantive perspective, the findings outline the family correlates of three health risk behaviors known to exert a strong influence on morbidity and mortality among adolescents.
- Risk and protective factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health