Parent attachment, school commitment, and problem behavior trajectories of diverse adolescents

Wendy Cavendish, Amie L. Nielsen, Marjorie Montague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the growth trajectories from early to late adolescence of teacher ratings of students' behavior problems from 9th through 11th grade and student self-reports of alcohol use in a sample of predominately minority adolescents (n = 179, 90% African-American and/or Hispanic, 43% boys, 57% girls) in a large, urban school district. The study investigated whether parent attachment, school commitment, gender, race/ethnicity, and educational placement influenced these outcomes. Multi-level growth modeling was the primary statistical procedure used. Results indicated that increased parent attachment was associated with reduced levels of alcohol use and school commitment was not associated with growth trajectories of problem behavior in the multilevel models, although gender, race/ethnicity and special education placement were significant predictors. Our findings suggest that teachers perceive greater levels of behavior problems for minority students and youth in special education. Student self reports also indicate adolescent frequency of alcohol use increases over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1629-1639
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Adolescent behavior trajectories
  • Aggression
  • Alcohol use
  • Conduct problems
  • Parent attachment
  • School commitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Parent attachment, school commitment, and problem behavior trajectories of diverse adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this