A Longitudinal Test of the Parent-Adolescent Family Functioning Discrepancy Hypothesis: A Trend toward Increased HIV Risk Behaviors Among Immigrant Hispanic Adolescents

J Youth Adolesc. 2016 Oct;45(10):2164-77. doi: 10.1007/s10964-016-0500-8. Epub 2016 May 23.


Parent-adolescent discrepancies in family functioning play an important role in HIV risk behaviors among adolescents, yet longitudinal research with recent immigrant Hispanic families remains limited. This study tested the effects of trajectories of parent-adolescent family functioning discrepancies on HIV risk behaviors among recent-immigrant Hispanic adolescents. Additionally, we examined whether and to what extent trajectories of parent-adolescent family functioning discrepancies vary as a function of gender. We assessed family functioning of 302 Hispanic adolescents (47 % female) and their parent (70 % female) at six time points over a three-year period and computed latent discrepancy scores between parent and adolescent reports at each timepoint. Additionally, adolescents completed measures of sexual risk behaviors and alcohol use. We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis to determine the feasibility of collapsing parent and adolescent reported family functioning indicators onto a single latent discrepancy variable, tested model invariance over time, and conducted growth mixture modeling (GMM). GMM yielded a three-class solution for discrepancies: High-Increasing, High-Stable, and Low-Stable. Relative to the Low-Stable class, parent-adolescent dyads in the High-Increasing and High-Stable classes were at greater risk for adolescents reporting sexual debut at time 6. Additionally, the High-Stable class was at greater risk, relative to the Low-Stable class, in terms of adolescent lifetime alcohol use at 30 months post-baseline. Multiple group GMM indicated that trajectories of parent-adolescent family functioning trajectories did not vary by gender. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Adolescents; Alcohol use; Discrepancies; Family functioning; HIV.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Family Conflict / ethnology*
  • Family Conflict / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Risk Behaviors*
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parenting / ethnology*
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Unsafe Sex / ethnology
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology