Family dynamics and aggressive behavior in Latino adolescents

Paul R. Smokowski, Roderick A. Rose, Martica Bacallao, Katie Stalker, Caroline B R Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: Despite high prevalence rates and evidence that acculturation is associated with adolescent behavioral and mental health in Latino youth, little research has focused on aggressive behavior for this population. The aim of the current study was to fill this research gap by examining the influence of several aspects of family functioning, including parent-adolescent conflict, parent worry, and parent marital adjustment, on aggression among Latino adolescents. Method: Data come from the Latino Acculturation and Health Project (LAHP), a longitudinal investigation of acculturation in Latino families in North Carolina and Arizona. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to estimate a longitudinal rater effects model of adolescent aggression as reported by 258 Latino adolescents each paired with 1 parent for a total of 516 participants across 4 time points over a span of 18 months. Results: Results indicated a general decline in aggression over the study window. In addition, parent-adolescent conflict and parent worry predicted higher adolescent aggression whereas parent marital adjustment predicted lower adolescent aggression. Conclusions: The salience of family risk factors for aggression among Latino adolescents is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Adolescent aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Latino families
  • Marital adjustment
  • Parent- child conflict

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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