Family and peer influences on adjustment among Chinese, Filipino, and White youth


Willgerodt, M. A. (2008). Family and peer influences on adjustment among Chinese, Filipino, and White youth. Nursing Research. vol. 57 (6) pp. 395-405 , PMCID: PMC2887097


Background: Little is known about the influence of parent-adolescent relationships and peer behavior on emotional distress and risky behaviors among Asian American adolescents; in particular, cross-cultural and longitudinal examinations are missing from the extant research.

Objectives: To test and compare a theoretical model examining the influence of family and peer factors on adolescent distress and risky behavior over time, using a nationally representative sample of Chinese, Filipino, and White adolescents.

Methods: Data were utilized from Waves I (1994) and II (1995) of the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health; the sample is composed of 194 Chinese, 345 Filipino, and 395 White adolescents and weighted to correct for design effects, yielding a nationally representative sample. Structural equation modeling was used to test the theoretical model for each ethnic group separately followed by multiple-group analyses.

Results: The measurement model was examined for each ethnic group, using both unweighted and weighted samples, and was deemed equivalent across groups. Tests of the theoretical model by ethnicity revealed that for each group, family bonds have significant negative effects on emotional distress and risky behaviors. For Filipino and White youth, peer risky behaviors influenced risky behaviors. Multiple-group analyses of the theoretical model indicated that the three ethnic groups did not differ significantly from one another.

Discussion: Findings suggest that family bonds and peer behavior exert significant influences on psychological and behavioral outcomes in Asian American youth and that these influences appear to be similar with White adolescents. Future research should be directed toward incorporating variables known to contribute to the impact of distress and risky behaviors in model testing and validating findings from this study.


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Journal Article

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Nursing Research


Willgerodt, M. A.

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