This study used an experimental, longitudinal field trial involving random assignment to the Family Check-Up (FCU) to explore the social ecology of adolescent antisocial behavior. A sample of 998 youths and their families was followed from early to late adolescence (age 12 to 18a"19). In the intervention condition, 115 families (23%) elected to receive the FCU. In general, random assignment to the FCU in middle school was associated with reductions in late adolescence antisocial behavior (age 18a"19). Variable-centered analyses revealed that the effects were mediated by reductions in family conflict from early to middle adolescence (age 12a"15). The link between family conflict and antisocial behavior in turn was mediated by association with deviant peers at age 17; parental monitoring at age 17 was also influential but did not attain the status of a mediator. Person-oriented analyses suggested that the FCU was associated with declining trajectories of family conflict and rising trajectories of parental monitoring but was not associated with trajectories of deviant peer association. A dual-trajectory analysis indicated that the pathways to adolescent antisocial behavior were myriad and varied, suggesting new directions for developmental and intervention research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health