Guided by ecodevelopmental theory (Szapocznik & Coatsworth, 1999), this study investigated the influence of multiple social ecological levels (microsystem, mesosystem, macrosystem), domains (family, school, peers), and processes (support, conflict) on the development of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in a sample of 150 middle-school age Hispanic females. Support and conflict in the family microsystem showed the strongest and most consistent bivariate and unique relations with behavior problems. Two mesosystem level variables, conflict between parents and daughters’ peers and support between parent and school personnel, were also significantly related to mother and daughter reports of externalizing behavior, respectively. Acculturation interacted with family conflict to predict both internalizing and externalizing behavior, and with support between family and school to predict externalizing behavior. These results highlight the importance of accounting for multiple dimensions and levels of social context when investigating the development of psychopathology. Implications for interventions are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies