The risk and protective functions of perceived family and peer microsystems among urban adolescents in poverty

Am J Community Psychol. 1999 Apr;27(2):211-37. doi: 10.1023/A:1022835717964.


Utilized a pattern-based approach to discover the different constellations of perceived social transactions separately for family and peer systems and explored the risk and protective functions of these microsystem profiles for both depression and antisocial behavior among a sample of ethnically and racially diverse urban adolescents living in poverty. Measures of perceived social support, involvement and hassles with family and peers, as well as perceived social acceptance and peers' values were entered into two sets of iterative cluster analyses to identify distinct profiles of family and peer transactions. From each of the perceived family and peer transactional analyses, six replicated profiles emerged. Several of the profiles were consistent with expectations from prior literature such as Enmeshing families and Rejecting peer networks, while others were novel and intriguing such as Entangling peers. Family profiles were consistent in their risk and protective associations for both depression and antisocial behavior, while the peer profiles varied in their effects for each developmental outcome. For example, the Rejecting peer profile placed adolescents at increased risk for depression but protected them from antisocial behavior. Implications for future research and preventive intervention are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Poverty*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Social Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Support
  • Social Values
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*