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J Adolesc Health. 2006 Aug;39(2):206-13.

Developmental trajectories of family management and risk for violent behavior in adolescence.

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Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA.



To address two questions: (1) Can groups of family management trajectories be identified in early adolescence? (2) How are the different family management trajectories related to trajectories of violent offending for youths aged 13-18 years?


Analyses used semi-parametric group-based modeling (SGM) to identify groups of family management trajectories. A joint trajectory method was used to predict patterns of youth violence conditional on family management.


Analyses identified 3 trajectories of family management from age 11 to 14: (1) stable low, (2) stable high, and (3) increasing family management. Youths from families in the low family management trajectory were more likely than others to follow chronic and late increasing trajectories of violence. In contrast, youths in stable-high positive family management were less likely to engage in violence from age 13 to age 18. Further, youths whose families started low, but increased to high family management, had patterns of adolescent violence similar to those whose parents were consistently high in their use of good parenting practices.


The current study advances knowledge of developmental patterns in family management and youth violence. Although most parents remained stable in family management practices from age 11 to 14 (stable high or stable low), parents who started low, but improved their management practices during middle school, had children with lower levels of chronic and late increasing violence than those who remained low. Findings suggest that interventions developed to enhance family management practices may reduce risk for violence in later adolescence.

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