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Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors: Family Stress and Adolescent Coping as Critical Factors

Hamilton I. McCubbin, Richard H. Needle and Marc Wilson
Family Relations
Vol. 34, No. 1, The Family and Health Care (Jan., 1985), pp. 51-62
DOI: 10.2307/583757
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/583757
Page Count: 12
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Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors: Family Stress and Adolescent Coping as Critical Factors
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Abstract

Medical sociologists and health educators are studying families in the middle years for answers to the question of what critical factors shape the development of adolescent health risk behaviors. Drawing data from a three year panel study of 505 families with focal adolescents aged 12 to 13 years, the investigators examined adolescent-family stressors and strains, adolescent coping strategies, and their relationship to adolescent health risk behaviors of cigarette smoking, liquor drinking, and marijuana smoking. The findings show the negative influences of adolescent-family stressors and strains, the "competing" (risk reducing) influence of adolescent family problem solving, and "complementary" (risk promoting) influence of each adolescent coping strategies as ventilation, close friendship support, and social support. The findings are discussed relative to family stress theory, current research and family, and peer-oriented prevention programming in the future.

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