Protective Factors Buffer Life Stress and Behavioral Health Outcomes among High-Risk Youth

Abstract

This study investigated internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and polydrug use among African-American youth residing in high-poverty neighborhoods, and tested the potential protective effects of religiosity, parental monitoring, and neighborhood collective efficacy on life stress and behavioral health outcomes (N=576; 307 females; Mage=16years, SD=1.44years). A cumulative risk index reflected the combined effects of past year exposure to stressful life events, racial discrimination, and exposure to violence along with poor neighborhood ecology. Structural equation modeling revealed that cumulative risk significantly predicted internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and polydrug use. Interaction tests showed that the association of cumulative risk with internalizing problems was buffered by adolescent religiosity and neighborhood collective efficacy. The association of cumulative risk with externalizing problems was buffered by parental monitoring and collective efficacy. Adolescent sex further moderated these effects. The findings of the present study collectively highlight potential for protective factors to buffer effects of cumulative risk on behavioral health outcomes among youth residing in high-risk neighborhoods.

Description
Keywords
Adolescence, Behavioral health, Protective factors, Life stress, Internalizing problems, Externalizing problems, Substance use, Parenting, Neighborhood factors, High-risk environments, SUBSTANCE USE, ADOLESCENT RESILIENCE, COLLECTIVE EFFICACY, COMMUNITY VIOLENCE, DRUG-USE, AFRICAN, RELIGIOSITY, DISORDERS, CHILDHOOD, EXPOSURE, Psychology, Clinical, Psychology, Developmental
Citation
Sharma, S., Mustanski, B., Dick, D., Bolland, J., & Kertes, D. A. (2019). Protective Factors Buffer Life Stress and Behavioral Health Outcomes among High-Risk Youth. In Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Vol. 47, Issue 8, pp. 1289–1301). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-019-00515-8