Alternative Structural Models for Understanding Adolescent Problem Behavior in Two-Earner Families

Jennifer L. Maggs, Nancy L. Galambos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Longitudinal relations among Canadian adolescents' problem behavior, conflict with parents, and association with deviant peers were examined using covariance structure analysis with manifest variables (path analysis). Ninety young adolescents (mean age at Time I = 11.6 years) and their employed mothers and fathers completed questionnaires at three times of measurement spanning I year. Evaluation of the global and relative goodness-of-fit of competing hierarchically nested structural models (using LUSREL VII) showed that (a) the relations among problem behavior and parent-adolescent conflict were bidirectional (or reciprocal) and (b) problem behavior predicted future deviant peer contacts but (c) deviant peers did not predict future problem behavior. Gender differences were not observed in mean levels or the pattern of interrelations. Discussion focuses on viewing problem (or risk) behavior during adolescence as an antecedent and a consequence of the nature of family and peer relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-101
Number of pages23
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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