Purpose: Previous studies have examined externalizing behaviors among African American youth using variable-centered approaches that study aggression and delinquency separately. However, aggression and delinquency often operate together in shaping adolescent behavior. For this reason, person-centered approaches are essential for identifying subgroups of African American youth using multiple indicators of aggression and delinquency to model the behavioral heterogeneity within this population. We examined the relationship between interpersonal, school, and parenting factors and externalizing behaviors among African American youth. Method: Drawing from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2015–2018, we conducted latent class analysis based on 5 externalizing behavior indicator variables (i.e., serious fight, attack to harm, stealing, drug selling, handgun carrying) using a sample of 7,236 African American adolescents, aged 12–17. Results: We identified a three class solution: Class #1—No Involvement (74.4%), characterized by very low levels of involvement in all of the externalizing behaviors examined; Class #2—Serious fight (23.3%), which is characterized by near-universal involvement in a serious fight, far lower levels of attack to harm, and negligible levels of stealing, drug selling, and handgun caring; and Class #3—Multidimensional externalizing (2.3%), characterized by very high levels of involvement in all of the externalizing variables examined. Conclusion: Most African American youth are not involved in externalizing behaviors. It is vital to support both the large majority of African-American youth who are abstaining from externalizing behaviors and to develop/implement programs to address the contextual and interpersonal needs of youth at elevated risk for consequences related to externalizing.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Jan|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health [Award Number K01DA035895] and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health [Award Number K01AA026645]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIDA, NIAAA, or the NIH.
This work was partially funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grand number K01AA026645), National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grand number K01DA035895, R01DA051578).
© 2021, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Social Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health