Family functioning, self-concept, and severity of adolescent externalizing problems

Craig E. Henderson, Gayle A. Dakof, Seth J. Schwartz, Howard A. Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We investigated direct and shared effects of family functioning and self-concept on the severity of adolescent externalizing problems in a sample of 224 clinically referred adolescents. Structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed strong, direct relationships between problem behaviors and both family functioning and self-concept. Using R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny's (1986) and G. N. Holmbeck's (1997) criteria for testing mediation in SEM, family functioning partially mediated the relationship between self-concept and problem behaviors. A moderation model, testing the relationship between externalizing problems and the interaction between family functioning and self-concept, did not yield a significant effect. Our findings indicate that self-concept and family functioning exert direct and shared effects on externalizing problems and suggest that interventions for clinically referred adolescents should target both the individual adolescent and his/her family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-729
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Adolescence
  • Externalizing
  • Family
  • Mediation
  • Self-concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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