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11-08-2018 | Original Paper

Well-being and Substance Use in Emerging Adulthood: The Role of Individual and Family Factors in Childhood and Adolescence

Journal of Child and Family Studies
ChienTi Plummer Lee, Troy Beckert, Ian Marsee


The present study examined the long-term impact of individual and family factors during childhood and adolescence on outcomes associated with the transition to adulthood, specifically well-being and substance use. Data for this study were drawn from the Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Transition to Adulthood (TA) surveys (n = 1362), both a part of The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). We first examined the influence of individual and family factors from childhood and adolescence on well-being and substance use during the transition to adulthood using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). We then applied a mixture modeling approach to evaluate whether there were subgroups (latent classes) in these transitions to adulthood outcomes, and how these subgroups linked with the individual and family factors from younger years. We found that, in general, parental acceptance and psychological control in childhood and adolescence predicted all aspects of well-being during the transition to adulthood. Substance use during this transition was linked with being male, White, and heightened parental psychological control. Overall, observable differential associations between individual and family factors during childhood and adolescence and outcomes in later life highlighted a need to evaluate transitional aspects independently, rather than grouping young adults all together.

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