The Influence of Family Characteristics on Problem Behaviors in a Sample of High-Risk Caribbean Adolescents

Edward Maguire, Diana H. Fishbein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Drawing on the social development model, the authors examine family risk and protective factors thought to influence problem behaviors among adolescents. They estimate the impact of family risk and protective factors on a variety of antisocial and health risk behaviors. Data are drawn from a sample of nearly 2,500 adolescents attending high-risk schools in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing nation in the eastern Caribbean. The findings show that certain family risk factors play a more consistent role in shaping adolescent problem behaviors than others. In particular, adult history of antisocial behavior and parental attitudes favorable toward antisocial behavior and substance use emerge as the most robust risk factors. In accordance with previous research, family protective factors exerted only a minimal influence on behavioral outcomes. This finding confirms the need for additional theory and research on the protective factors that help reduce problem behavior among adolescents, particularly in developing nations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Antisocial behavior
  • Caribbean
  • Delinquency
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

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