Patterns of Family Functioning and Adolescent Outcomes Among Urban African American and Mexican American Families
AbstractThe relations of patterns of family functioning, prosocial behaviors, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms over time were evaluated among a sample of economically disadvantaged inner-city African American and Mexican American male adolescents. Ethnic group differences for configurations of family functioning over time, levels of prosocial and problem behaviors, and relations of family functioning to risk were found. Among both ethnic groups, exceptionally functioning families provided a protective effect against risk. Overall, African American youth had stronger attitudes toward school and higher educational aspirations than Mexican American youth. Unlike previous investigations, once socioeconomic status was controlled, no differences were found for either internalizing or externalizing problems between the 2 groups. The importance of considering socioeconomic status and community context when evaluating minority parenting and family functioning is discussed.