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Title:A prospective investigation of the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage, life stress, and social support on early adolescent adjustment
Author(s):DuBois, David Lane
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Felner, Robert D.
Department / Program:Psychology, Clinical
Discipline:Psychology, Clinical
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:Recent epidemiological studies have highlighted the alarming rate at which children and adolescents are experiencing serious problems while growing up and later, "rotten" outcomes as adults. Frequent problems relating to emotional and behavioral adaptation, as well as high rates of academic failure have been documented in this work. It is increasingly recognized that in order to achieve a substantial reduction in these numbers, prevention and public policy strategies will need to be implemented on a wide-scale and sustained basis. However, the knowledge base required for such efforts to be effective and cost-efficient is not yet adequately developed. Knowledge of the effects of the social and environmental context on child and adolescent adaptation is especially limited. The current study sought to further investigate this issue among a sample of 339 young adolescents who attended a grade 7-8 middle school. Utilizing a longitudinal design, the study examined the relation of initial levels of socio-environmental conditions to levels of adjustment at follow-up seven months later. Measures of socio-environmental conditions assessed socioeconomic resources, stressful life events, and social supports. Measures of adjustment assessed emotional, behavioral, and academic adaptation. Findings indicated a substantial relation between initial socio-environmental conditions and adjustment at follow-up. Specifically, composite indices of socio-environmental variables accounted for between 25 and 30 percent of the variance in composite indices of follow-up adjustment. A significant relation between initial socio-environmental conditions and subsequent adjustment also was found in prospective analyses which controlled statistically for initial levels of adjustment. Socioeconomic variables were related mostly closely to indices of academic adaptation, whereas life stress and social support variables were associated most strongly with indices of emotional and behavioral adaptation. Interactions among socio-environmental variables were also found. These findings indicated that the relation of stress and support variables to indices of adaptation was stronger among youth who experienced single or multiple conditions of socioeconomic disadvantage in comparison to those who did not experience any conditions of disadvantage. The discussion focuses on the contribution of socio-environmental conditions to adaptation during early adolescence and potential implications for preventive intervention.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 DuBois, David Lane
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236442
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236442

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