Methods: Data were collected from 5,300 rural adolescents (51% female) from the control condition of the PROSPER implementation trial starting in Grade 6 Fall (mean age 11.8) through Grade 8 Spring. Youth reported on their experiences of family conflict, family climate, parental involvement, child to parent warmth, parental monitoring, and effective discipline in their families at Grade 6. Youth reported on their deviant peer affiliation, substance use, and aggression at Grade 8.
Results: Four latent profiles of family risk were identified: (1) High Functioning (34% prevalence), (2) Coercive (15%), characterized by high family conflict, negative family climate, low parental involvement, ineffective discipline, low child to parent warmth, and low parental monitoring, (3) Disengaged (41%), characterized by negative family climate, low parental involvement, low parent to child warmth, and low parental monitoring, and (4) Permissive (11%), characterized by high family conflict, high parental involvement, ineffective discipline, high child to parent warmth, and high parental monitoring. The Coercive profile had significantly higher levels of ASB outcomes than the other profiles. Disengaged and Permissive profiles were not significantly different from each other, and had the next highest levels of most ASB outcomes. The High Functioning profile had significantly lower levels of ASB outcomes than all other profiles.
Conclusions: This study provides evidence that coercion and disengagement reflect distinct family risk processes for adolescent ASB. Among these profiles, adolescents in coercive families were at highest risk for ASB. Disengagement, a known risk process for ASB development, did not confer additional risk for adolescent ASB compared to experiencing a mixture of risk and protective factors (i.e., Permissive profile), although both profiles with these characteristics were at elevated risk for ASB when compared to the High Functioning profile. Findings offer insight into potential program targets for family-based preventive interventions for adolescent ASB.