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Source: Society for Social Work and Research
Resulting in 11 citations.
1. Berger, Lawrence Marc
Children Living Out-of-Home: Effects of Family and Environmental Characteristics
Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Meetings, January 2003
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); Childhood Residence; Children, Poverty; Family Resources; Family Structure; Modeling, Probit; Poverty; Welfare

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

A large and growing number of children in the U.S. spend some part of their childhood living in households or institutions that do not include their birth parents. These living arrangements may result from parental choice or from involuntary child removal due to parental maltreatment. Some children may live apart from their birth parents because their parents do not have the resources to care for them at home. Current evidence suggests that the same types of families who are likely to be involved in the welfare system are also likely to have children living out-of-home. Additionally, there is some evidence that welfare benefit levels affect children's living arrangements.

Yet, little research has addressed the ways in which family structures and economic resources have impacted whether children grow up in households that do not include at least one biological parent. In order to address this gap, this paper offers a theoretical framework for estimating the effects of income and poverty, family structure, and income support policies on children's living arrangements. Its empirical implications are tested using data from the NLSY. The sample consists of 28,143 observations of families with children 18 years old or younger between 1986 and 1998. Probit models are used to estimate the probability that children from both single- and two-parent families are living in various out-of-home care arrangements. Results suggest that lower-income families, as well as single-parent and mother-partner families, are more likely to have a child living out-of-home in a given year. Higher AFDC/TANF benefits are associated with decreases in the probability that a family has a child living in a child welfare service setting, but increases in the probability that a family has a child living with relatives. Additionally, higher foster care payments are associated with increases in children living out-of-home.

Bibliography Citation
Berger, Lawrence Marc. "Children Living Out-of-Home: Effects of Family and Environmental Characteristics." Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Meetings, January 2003.
2. Berger, Lawrence Marc
Langton, Callie
Maternal Re-Partnering and Non-Resident Father Investments in Children
Presented: San Francisco, CA, Society for Social Work and Research 14 Annual Conference, January 2010.
Also: http://sswr.confex.com/sswr/2010/webprogram/Paper12947.html
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Cohabitation; Family Structure; Fathers; Fathers, Absence; Fathers, Influence; Fathers, Involvement; Fathers, Leaving; Household Composition; Marital Disruption; Marriage; Modeling, Fixed Effects; Parents, Single; Remarriage

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Background and Purpose: Research suggests that paternal re-partnering through marriage or cohabitation is associated with reductions in both the amount of time fathers spend with their non-resident children and the economic support they provide. Whereas the literature on paternal re-partnering and non-resident father investments in children is relatively well developed, few studies have examined the influence of maternal re-partnering on non-resident father investments. This paper examines associations of maternal re-partnering, in the form of new marriages and cohabitations, with changes in non-resident father investments in children vis-à-vis both visitation and formal child support payments.

Methods: We utilize longitudinal data drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth on approximately 5,500 children who spent some part of their childhood living with a single mother. We focus on 5 measures of father investment: (1) whether the father has seen the child during the past year; (2) how often the father has seen the child during the past year; (3) whether the father pays any (formal) child support; and (4) the amount of child support the father pays. We also investigate whether maternal re-partnering is associated with changes in the geographic distance between fathers' homes and those of their children. Our analytic approach consists of both standard regressions and fixed effects models. The standard regressions (ordinary least squares and logit models) assess whether there are static differences in levels of non-resident father investments in children by whether children's mothers have remarried or formed new cohabiting unions, as opposed to having remained single. The fixed effects models assess the extent to which fathers' investment behaviors change when mothers enter into new partnerships and have the advantage of adjusting for unobserved time invariant child and family characteristics when estimating these associations.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that, on average, children whose mothers have re-partnered spend less time with their biological father and are less likely to see their biological father over the course of a year than are children living with a single-mother who has not re-partnered. Fixed effects results also reveal that both the likelihood that a non-resident father has seen his child in the past year and the number of times the father has seen the child decrease after a mother re-partners. In addition, we find that the geographic distance between fathers' homes and those of their children increases when mothers re-partner and that this is only partially explained by residential moves on the part of the mother; non-resident fathers are also more likely to move away from their children after a maternal re-partnership. Yet, we find little evidence of associations between maternal re-partnering and child support payments.

Conclusions: Given that a sizeable proportion of children will experience maternal re-partnering, coupled with evidence that non-resident father involvement may positively influence children's wellbeing, it is crucial to understand how maternal re-partnering affects non-resident fathers' investments in children. Implications of this research for public policies regarding marriage and family formation, as well as for designing programs to promote child wellbeing in complex families, are discussed.

Bibliography Citation
Berger, Lawrence Marc and Callie Langton. "Maternal Re-Partnering and Non-Resident Father Investments in Children." Presented: San Francisco, CA, Society for Social Work and Research 14 Annual Conference, January 2010.
3. Berger, Lawrence Marc
Magnuson, Katherine A.
Family Structure Transitions and Children's Wellbeing During Middle Childhood
Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Children, Well-Being; Family Structure; Household Composition; Marital Dissolution; Marriage; Modeling; Parents, Single; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Purpose: About half of all children under 18 will spend time in a single-parent family and approximately one third will spend time in a step-family. Adverse associations between these family structures and child wellbeing are well documented. However, pathways to non-traditional family structures are diverse and include both births into non-traditional families and transitions into (or between) these family types. Most prior research has focused on associations between family structure states and children's development and wellbeing. Yet, it is likely that family structure transitions, in and of themselves, may account for some portion of these associations given that such transitions may be disruptive and destabilizing, thereby necessitating considerable reorganization of family roles and creating multiple stresses. Children's responses to these stresses may, at least in part, depend upon the developmental stage at which they occur, as well as the quality of caregiving to which children have previously been exposed. A considerable number of studies have explored these associations for older children and adolescents; few have examined these relations for younger children. Furthermore, existing research provides little insight as to whether the quality of early caregiving experiences may moderate these associations in middle childhood.

Methods: We use longitudinal data on about 3,700 children age 5 to 12 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) to examine associations of family structure states and transitions with children's achievement (PIAT math and reading tests) and behavior (Behavior Problems Index) trajectories. We consider whether these associations vary by children's ages, as well as the quality of their home environments in early childhood. We also assess whether they are transitory or persist over time. An important methodological concern is that families that transition may be different from those who do not in multiple ways, and that these differences may, in part, explain differences children's achievement and behavior. Consequently, it is important to use analytic approaches which reduce the likelihood of selection bias. Because the HLM identifies the effects of family structure transitions on changes in achievement and behavior, this method reduces bias from unobserved persistent child and family characteristics.

Results: Results suggest that both residing in and transitioning to a single-mother family during middle childhood is associated with small increases in behavior problems. These associations are stronger for children who experienced higher quality home environments in early childhood. Transitions into as well as stable residence in step families are less consistently associated with child behavior, although we find some evidence that residence in a step family may be associated with small short-term increases in behavior problems. We find little consistent evidence linking any types of family structure transitions or states to children's achievement during middle childhood.

Implications: As a sizeable proportion of children experience family structure transitions, it is crucial to understand how these changes affect their achievement and behavior. Implications of this research for public policies regarding marriage and family formation, as well as for designing programs to promote child wellbeing in complex families, are discussed.

Bibliography Citation
Berger, Lawrence Marc and Katherine A. Magnuson. "Family Structure Transitions and Children's Wellbeing During Middle Childhood." Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008.
4. Farmer, Antoinette
Sinha, Jill Witmer
Gill, Emmett
Effects of Family Religiosity, Parental Control and Monitoring on Adolescent Substance Use
Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 17-20, 2008
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Parent Supervision/Monitoring; Racial Differences; Religion; Substance Use

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Purpose: Existing empirical research has demonstrated that among adolescents religion is associated with lower alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use (Merrill, Folsom, & Christopherson, 2005; Wallace, Brown, Bachman, & Laveist, 2003). This relationship has been observed in studies with African American, European American, and Hispanics samples. Most of these studies have been guided by an assumption that religion only has a direct effect on adolescent substance use (Rew and Wong, 2006). Neglecting to assess the indirect effect of religion on adolescent substance use ignores the need to examine what mechanisms link religion to the outcome variable. Understanding the process in which religion affects adolescent outcomes is important for the development of theory and prevention programs. Hence, the purpose of this study was to assess both the direct and indirect effects of family religiosity on adolescent substance use among African American and European American adolescents. Hypotheses: The following hypotheses were tested separately for African American and European American adolescents: Hypothesis 1: It was hypothesized that family religiosity will have a direct effect on adolescent substance use and an indirect effect on adolescent substance use via parental monitoring. Hypothesis 2: It was hypothesized that family religiosity will have a direct effect on adolescent substance use and an indirect effect on adolescent substance use via parental control. Methods: Data for this study were derived from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), Round 1, which is a nationally representative sample. The sample for this study consisted of 6894 adolescents ages 12 to 16 (Mean =13.99, SD = 1.40) who lived with their mothers; of these adolescents 2229 were African Americans and 4665 were European Americans. A series of binary logistic and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to assess the hypothesized mediating effects. To assess the mediating effects, the recommendations of Baron and Kenny (1986) were followed, and the Sobel's (1986) test of mediation was conducted to determine the statistical significance of the mediation effects found. Results: The results indicated that for African American adolescents parental monitoring and control mediated the relationship between family religiosity and adolescent substance use. As for European American adolescents, parental monitoring and control partially mediated the relationship between family religiosity and adolescent substance use. Implications for Adolescent Substance Use Prevention: Based on the findings of this study both faith-based and non faith-based programs designed to reduce the risk of substance abuse among African American adolescents whose families are religious should not solely focus on having these families engage in more religious activities, but encourage these families to engage in more monitoring of and limit setting for their adolescents. As for European American families, these families should be encouraged to engage in more religious activities with their adolescents, as well as monitor and set limits for them.
Bibliography Citation
Farmer, Antoinette, Jill Witmer Sinha and Emmett Gill. "Effects of Family Religiosity, Parental Control and Monitoring on Adolescent Substance Use." Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 17-20, 2008.
5. Han, Wen-Jui
Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Behavioral Outcomes
Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Behavioral Problems; Children, Behavioral Development; Maternal Employment; Shift Workers; Welfare; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Purpose. A 24-7 economy has increasingly become the norm in our daily lives, and to provide the conveniences of this economy an increasing proportion of the workforce is composed of nonstandard hours -- hours that are not between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M.. Those who are African American, low-educated, and/or low-skilled are disproportionately more likely to work at nonstandard hours. Moreover, families with young children (under age 6) are also more likely to work at nonstandard hours. Empirical studies have shown the potential negative effects of working nonstandard schedules on adults' psychological, physical, and sociological well-being. These findings raise concerns about the potential impact – direct or indirect – of parents' nonstandard work schedules on their children's well-being. We know little, however, about the relationship between parental nonstandard work schedules and child development. This paper explores the relationship between maternal work schedules and child behavioral outcomes for children age 4 to 10. Special attention was also given to subgroups of children (e.g., family type, welfare status, mother's occupation, and work hours) and the patterns of parental work schedules.

Methods. Using a large contemporary data set, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Supplement (NLSY-CS), 1,972 children were followed since birth until age 10. The sample consists of all the children in the NLSY-CS whose mothers had ever worked since the time of the child's birth and who can be followed longitudinally to age 10, with no missing data for any of the outcome variables. Of this sample, 51% are non-Hispanic white, 29% are non-Hispanic African American, and 20% are Hispanic. Children's behavioral problems were measured by using the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI). Two empirical approaches were use to account for selection bias and omitted variables in estimating the effects of maternal employment, one is an extensive set of child, mother, and family characteristics controlled for in the model, and the other is the use of ordinary least square, random-effect, and child fixed-effect models.

Results. Regression results suggest that maternal nonstandard work schedules may contribute to more behavior problems. The strongest effect of maternal nonstandard work schedules were found for children who live in single-mother or welfare families, whose mothers work in cashier or service occupations, and whose mothers working at nonstandard hours for full-time.

Conclusions and Implications. Family type, welfare status, mother's occupation, and the patterns of parental work schedules and work hours make a substantial difference in the links between children's behavioral problems and maternal nonstandard work schedules. Evidence provided in this paper has implications for practitioners identify the potential needs of young children with working mothers, especially those of single mothers influenced by the strict working requirement due to welfare reform. For example, we need to better understand the consequences that maternal work schedules have for children when that employment is undertaken "involuntarily," whether it is because of a spouse's unemployment, restrictions in welfare benefits, or other factors that might push women to work nonstandard hours that they might not have otherwise chosen.

Bibliography Citation
Han, Wen-Jui. "Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Behavioral Outcomes." Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008.
6. Lee, Kyunghee
Do Early Academic Achievement and Behavior Problems Predict Long-Term Effects Among Head Start Children?
Presented: New Orleans, LA, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 2009
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Academic Development; Behavior; Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Behavioral Problems; Childhood Education, Early; Children, Academic Development; Head Start; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading)

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

PURPOSE: This study examines the effects of Head Start children's early achievement and behavioral scores on their long-term effects. The Head Start program was established in 1965 to provide a comprehensive educational program for children living in poverty. Despite the overall consensus that there are proximal Head Start program benefits, it has been debated whether or not these effects still exist after children exit the Head Start program. The purpose of the current study is to examine the persistence of Head Start's impact on children's learning. Additionally, the study examines whether maternal education moderates the effects of Head Start over time.

METHOD: The study used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data. Out of 8,100 children born to NLSY women, a sample of 603 children who participated in Head Start from 1988 to 1994 and who had longitudinal measured outcomes from ages 5-6 to 11-12 were selected. Head Start children's reading, math, and behavioral scores, as measured at ages 5-6, were examined to determine whether these early scores affect outcomes measured at ages 11-12. The research questions addressed are (1) Do Head Start children's reading, math, and behavioral scores at ages 5-6 affect those scores measured at ages 11-12? (2) Do these associations differ depending on maternal education? I conducted regression and path analyses to examine how long-term achievement or behavioral outcomes are associated with the short-term outcomes, accounting for the effects of all short- and long-term outcomes in one model.

RESULTS: Not surprisingly, these findings indicate a strong relationship between children's early and later educational and behavioral scores. Maternal education moderated these associations on reading and behavioral outcomes. The associations between the short- and long-term achievement and behavioral outcomes were less significant for children whose mothers had less education. Children's reading, math, and behavioral outcomes at ages 5-6 were significantly inter-correlated, as were those measured at ages 11-12.

IMPLICATION: First, children's early achievement and behavioral outcomes affected outcomes later. Therefore, early intervention programs such as Head Start should continue to be provided to eligible populations to enhance early developmental skills. Second, children's early outcomes do not endure for children whose mothers have less than a high school education. If Head Start provides concurrent services for Head Start families, the positive impacts of Head Start on children's early outcomes can be sustained in their later lives. Third, Head Start should provide comprehensive curriculum that reflects the inter-correlations among all outcomes. In summary, this study suggests that the positive benefits of the Head Start program do not dissipate in the long term, and that maternal education matters for the long-term success of children in the program. Due to the significant impacts of early outcomes on later outcomes, Head Start should serve as a continuous early compensatory educational program for eligible populations

Bibliography Citation
Lee, Kyunghee. "Do Early Academic Achievement and Behavior Problems Predict Long-Term Effects Among Head Start Children?" Presented: New Orleans, LA, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 2009.
7. Lee, Kyunghee
Longitudinal Effect of an Early Entry Age into Head Start Program on Children's Developmental Outcomes
Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 17-20, 2008
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Academic Development; Behavior; Head Start; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading)

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

PURPOSE: Many children are attending early educational programs at an earlier age than ever before. This trend is reflected in the age composition of enrollees in the Head Start program. Despite these changes, evaluations of Head Start have not investigated the implications of children's entry ages until recently. The present study was designed on the basis of a theoretical foundation that presumes positive effects of an earlier intervention to understand better the ecological aspect of human development. The aim of the proposed study was to examine how entering the Head Start Program at an early age impacts children's short- and long-term developmental outcomes.

METHOD: Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data, a sample of 603 children was selected from those who participated in Head Start in 1988, 1990, 1992, and 1994. The specific study questions addressed were: (1) Is there a relationship between the age of entering Head Start and children's academic and behavioral outcomes at ages 5-6?; (2) Is there a relationship between the age of entering Head Start and children's academic and behavioral outcomes at ages 11-12?; and (3) Is there an association between the short-term and long-term outcomes? Additionally, this study considered how each of these associations differed depending on maternal education, controlling for individual, family, and contextual characteristics. Regression and Path Analyses were used to answer these questions.

RESULTS: Findings indicated that entering Head Start at age 3 was positively associated with both short-and long-term outcomes; additionally, the short-term outcomes were significantly associated with the long-term. These positive effects were more pronounced for children whose mothers had higher levels of education. More specifically, when children entered into Head Start at an earlier age, they showed enhanced reading skills at ages 5-6. This association was not found for math and behavioral outcomes at ages 5-6. An early entry into Head Start significantly reduced children's behavioral problems at ages 11-12. Children who had better outcomes at ages 5-6 had significantly better outcomes at ages 11-12. The impacts of an early entry age on long-term outcomes and the association between short- and long-term outcomes were more prevalent for children whose mothers had longer years of education.

IMPLICATIONS: First, earlier entry into Head Start is more beneficial for children than enrolling later. Second, Head Start should provide concurrent services for Head Start families in order to amplify the positive impacts of an early entry into Head Start. Third, Head Start curriculums should be examined to include other components (math and behavioral interventions) to the same extent as the literacy-related component. Fourth, Head Start impacts should be evaluated in terms of long-term benefits because some benefits, particularly socio-emotional, do not exhibit linear outcomes and may take longer to have a measurable effect. Lastly, the evaluation study should consider various individual, family, and societal characteristics to determine the true effects of Head Start. Even among Head Start children, wide variances exist in a variety of pre-existing factors that affect Head Start entry age.

Bibliography Citation
Lee, Kyunghee. "Longitudinal Effect of an Early Entry Age into Head Start Program on Children's Developmental Outcomes." Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 17-20, 2008.
8. Miller, Daniel P.
Maternal Work and Child Obesity: The Importance of Timing and Developmental Stage
Presented: San Francisco, CA, Society for Social Work and Research 14th Annual Conference, January 2010.
Also: http://sswr.confex.com/sswr/2010/webprogram/Paper12222.html
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Maternal Employment; Obesity; Weight

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Background and Purpose – A number of previous studies have found average hours of maternal work over a child's lifetime to be associated with increases in child body mass index (BMI) and the probability that a child is overweight or obese (BMI >=85th percentile). These studies are important in that they help identify an environmental correlate of a prominent public health problem. However, they have left some questions unanswered, namely, whether the association for maternal work depends on children's developmental stage, and whether maternal work affects children's weight contemporaneously or via a lagged effect. Using a variety of analytic techniques, this study attempts to discern whether average weekly hours of maternal work is associated with child obesity outcomes during any of four developmental stage: infancy (ages 1-2), early childhood (ages 3-6), middle childhood (7-10), and late childhood/early adolescence (ages 11-14), and also whether work during any of these period is associated with the same outcomes at a later stage.

Methods – The study used data on 6,855 matched mother-child pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). I used multiple imputation of missing data to account for missing data due to sample attrition and respondent non-response. Three analytic methods provided successively rigorous causal estimates of the importance of timing and developmental stage: multiple regression with rich controls, residualized change models, and fixed effects models. Each method examined the association between the average hours per week mothers worked during a developmental period, and children's average BMI, the years they were overweight or obese, and the years they were obese (BMI>=95th percentile). Using both continuous and dichotomous outcome measures was important to assess both the statistical and practical significance of maternal work.

Results – Results from rich controls and residualized change models were generally comparable, finding significant relationships between average maternal work and the child obesity outcomes within and across most developmental periods; few significant associations were found for the effects of maternal work during infancy. Fixed effects models, which provided the strictest test of causality, found that average maternal work hours were only significantly associated with the number of years a child was overweight or obese during middle childhood and late childhood/early adolescence. No similar associations were found for years obese. These findings suggest that an unobserved factor was likely biasing the results of the rich controls and residualized change models.

Conclusions and Implications – This study found that average maternal work at ages 7-10 and 11-14 was significantly associated with an increased contemporaneous incidence of child overweight or obesity. These results inform both future research and anti-obesity interventions. Although much previous research has identified aspects of the environment that are associated with child obesity, few studies have attempted to determine whether developmental stage and timing are important. To the extent that future research can similarly discern which stages of childhood are pertinent to the relationship between other factors and child obesity, interventions can become more effective by tailoring them to children of appropriate age.

Bibliography Citation
Miller, Daniel P. "Maternal Work and Child Obesity: The Importance of Timing and Developmental Stage." Presented: San Francisco, CA, Society for Social Work and Research 14th Annual Conference, January 2010.
9. Romich, Jennifer L.
Lundberg, Shelly
Tsang, Kwok Ping
Independence Giving or Autonomy Taking? Childhood Predictors of Decision-Sharing Patterns between Parents and Young Adolescents
Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Adolescent Behavior; Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Family Structure; Parent-Child Relationship/Closeness; Parenting Skills/Styles; Parents, Behavior; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Purpose: How young adolescents and parents share – or do not share – decisions about aspects of youth and family life is considered an important indicator of family process. Young adolescents who make decisions without parental input are more likely to become delinquent and less likely to complete schooling. Prior research on the determinants of decision patterns has largely focused on parental, family-level and environmental factors, and the assumed relationship with subsequent child behavior is that the decision-making patterns shape, rather than reflect, children's behavior. However, recent attention to the role of children as active agents within their environments suggests that questioning the assumption that sharing of decisions is a parent-led process is warranted. In this study, we examine ways in which children's characteristics and actions may shape family decision-making processes. Specifically, we examine how family decision patterns reported by young adolescents vary as a function of prior socio-cognitive functioning and behavior. Methods: The sample consists of 2632 young adolescents whose mothers are respondents of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). This study's outcomes of interest are whether decisions about young adolescents' lives are made autonomously by the young adolescents ("sole decisions"), jointly by parents and youth ("shared"), or solely by their parents ("parent"). These outcomes are predicted by a set of cognitive and psycho-social measures observed prior to the outcome wave. Individual models are used to test whether traits predict decision patterns and sibling fixed-effects models allow us to estimate effects of child characteristics net of stable family contributions. Results: Three predictors are significant in both the individual and sibling fixed effect models, suggesting that these relationships are robust and exist net of consistent unobserved effects of the parent, family, or environment. Children with high verbal aptitude (PPVT) share more decisions with their parents. Children with high mathematical aptitude (as measured by the PIAT-M) make more decisions autonomously. More impulsive children are more likely to make decisions without consulting parents, an effect that is concentrated among children of less-educated mothers and stronger among single-mother, relative to two-parent, households. Conclusions and implications: Our findings add more information about how decision-sharing patterns may arise and as such suggest that this linkage between autonomy and delinquency may be more nuanced than previously acknowledged. Earlier work on single-parent families and the "control" of adolescents suggested that family structure mattered, and that single-mothers were less likely to be able to "control" adolescents. Our findings reveal that control matters when a counteracting force is necessary. When claims for autonomy are made by impulsive children, mothers likely to have lower resources are unable to counteract young adolescents' desires for autonomy. This more nuanced view of the role of parenting suggests that prevention practices should include an assessment and self-assessment of parents' ability to respond to their children's demands for autonomy.
Bibliography Citation
Romich, Jennifer L., Shelly Lundberg and Kwok Ping Tsang. "Independence Giving or Autonomy Taking? Childhood Predictors of Decision-Sharing Patterns between Parents and Young Adolescents." Presented: Washington, DC, Meetings of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR): Research That Matters, January 17-20, 2008.
10. Shillington, Audrey M.
Clapp, John D.
Differential Outcomes for Adolescents: Alcohol Users Compared to Alcohol and Marijuana Users
Presented: Atlanta, GA, 5th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, 2001
Cohort(s): NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Peers/Peer influence/Peer relations; Substance Use

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Purpose: Nosological efforts among mental health and substance use researchers have previously examined AOD problems based upon single-substance use. This is one of the first efforts to study the differences between single-substance uses (alcohol only) and poly-substance use (alcohol and marijuana). This is important considering the rise in marijuana use among youth. The literature on poly-substance use is scant and has been limited to college samples.

Methods: The data are from the twenty-year National Longitudinal Survey of Youth study selecting out youth aged 15 and older (N = 1672) in 1996 with analyses guided with the Person-In-Environment Model (individual, peer/family and environmental variables).

Results: Poly-substance users' ages at onset for both substances was one year younger than alcohol only users (but equivalent chronological ages). Significantly more binge drinking was reported by poly-substance users compared to alcohol-only users. Significantly more poly-substance users reported substance use related problems that were social (fighting, problems with family) responsibility (missed school) and legal (legal problems, drove drunk) in nature compared to alcohol-only users. Further, poly-substance users reported significantly more problems that were not a direct result of substance use (admission to a youth corrections institution, run-away, damaged property, fighting, theft, inflicting injury) compared to the alcohol-only users. Cluster analyses (for problem clusters) and logistic regression models will be conducted to identify unique risk and protective factors and problem clusters associated with each substance use pattern while controlling for use severity. A theoretically driven final model will be presented.

Implications: When designing adolescent intervention programs it's important to consider individual, peer and environmental factors that may contribute to alcohol and/or marijuana use and resultant problems. From a primary prevention perspective, information on characteristics of adolescents with different use patterns should not only add to our knowledge base but drive our prevention/intervention efforts.

Bibliography Citation
Shillington, Audrey M. and John D. Clapp. "Differential Outcomes for Adolescents: Alcohol Users Compared to Alcohol and Marijuana Users." Presented: Atlanta, GA, 5th Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, 2001.
11. Spencer, Michael
Fitch, Dale
Grogan-Kaylor, Andrew
McBeath, Bowen
Simultaneous Factor Analysis of the Behavior Problem Index across Racial Groups
Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Meetings, 2003
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Behavior, Antisocial; Children, Adjustment Problems; Children, Behavioral Development; Children, Mental Health; Delinquency/Gang Activity; Depression (see also CESD); Drug Use; Ethnic Differences; Hispanics; Peers/Peer influence/Peer relations; Racial Differences; Scale Construction

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

While researchers and practitioners often use symptom checklists of behavioral and emotional problems, such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and its abbreviated version, the Behavior Problem Checklist (BPI) to measure and understand mental health problems in children, less research has been done to assess whether the underlying theory and assumptions of such checklists are equally understood and valid across major U.S. racial groups.

Methods
The purpose of this study is to test whether the same factor model of the BPI (Baker & Mott, 1989) holds across groups of 477 Black, 324 Hispanic, and 890 Caucasian children. The study uses data from the 1998 Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). We use multi-group confirmatory factor analysis to examine the equivalence of the BPI and its six subscales (antisocial, anxious/depressed, dependent, headstrong, hyperactive, and peer problems).

Results
Our findings indicated differences between racial groups. The 'critical ratios of differences' among all pairs of free parameters were examined to test for significant group differences with respect to any single parameter. Statistically significant differences were found between Hispanics & African Americans and Caucasians & African Americans on the Anxious/Depressed factor; Hispanics & African Americans and Caucasians & African Americans on the Antisocial factor; Caucasians & African Americans on the Dependent factor; and Hispanics & African Americans on the Peer Problems factor.

Discussion
The stability of the factor structure of the BPI across racial groups has implications for the culturally competent assessment of children's mental health problems. Accurate assessments for racial minorities are important because it may lead to early identification and treatment, potentially altering the trajectory of children who might otherwise engage in problem behaviors (i.e., drug use, delinquency, school problems, and risky sexual behavior) or find their way into our child welfare, special education, and juvenile justice systems.

Bibliography Citation
Spencer, Michael, Dale Fitch, Andrew Grogan-Kaylor and Bowen McBeath. "Simultaneous Factor Analysis of the Behavior Problem Index across Racial Groups." Presented: Washington, DC, Society for Social Work and Research Meetings, 2003.