Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

K. A. S. Wickrama


This study predicted that community ethnic heterogeneity (controlling for community poverty), family adversity (i.e., family economic hardship and non-intact two-parent family/single parenthood), family social resources (i.e., parent-adolescent relationship, parental control, parental warmth, parental knowledge), and individual traits (i.e., racial minority status and gender) would influence adolescent problem behavior trajectories both additively and multiplicatively. In addition, the study predicted that there would be racial/ethnic and gender differences in problem behavior over time. An effective analysis of community influence on individual outcomes requires a multilevel analysis that includes community-level, family-level, and individual-level variables. This multilevel analysis used 15,170 adolescent data values from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Wave 1 (1995), Wave 2 (1996), Wave 3 (2001), and the 1990 U.S. Census. The findings demonstrate that there is: (a) change in adolescent problem behavior over time; (b) unique influences of family adversity, family social resources, and individual factors (i.e., race and gender) on adolescent problem behavior; (c) diminishing effects of community poverty over time; (d) diminishing effects of family social resources (i.e., family warmth and parent-adolescent relationship) producing stability and equality over time during late adolescence; and (e) contextual dissipation of the influences of some family social resources (i.e., parent-adolescent relationship) under high ethnic heterogeneous conditions.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Dan Okello Nyaronga



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

112 pages