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NCJ Number: 202821 Find in a Library
Title: Longitudinal Analysis of Stress in African-American Youth: Predictors and Outcomes of Stress Trajectories
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:32  Issue:6  Dated:December 2003  Pages:419-430
Author(s): Karen H. Schmeelk-Cone; Marc A. Zimmerman
Editor(s): Daniel Offer
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This longitudinal study examined trajectories of stress over time in relation to psychosocial outcomes and behaviors among African-American youth.
Abstract: Stress is a vital health concern that affects many mental and physical outcomes at all ages. Several factors in adolescents’ lives may be stressors, such as exposure to violence, peer pressure, poverty, and school. However, little research has been done which examines the patterns of perceived stress over time among adolescents or the individual differences in patterns of change over time and the psychosocial antecedents or consequences of different stress trajectories. This longitudinal analysis study attempts to begin a program of such research. It was expected that differing patterns of perceived stress over time would be found, and that psychosocial factors would be related in different ways for youth with varying stress trajectories. Participants in the analysis included 421 African-American adolescents who participated in all of the first 5 waves of a longitudinal study of school dropout and drug use in a large Midwestern city. To measure stress, the Perceived Stress scale was used. Results indicate that an examination of perceived stress over time and consideration of within-group variation in patterns of stress may provide valuable insights into the potentially negative effects of stress on psychological and behavioral health. In addition, the results showed that 40 percent of the youth were chronically stressed or increasing their levels over time to eventually come close to matching the chronically stressed group. Youth who reported the lowest levels of anxiety and depression and had the highest GPS's in ninth grade, were likely to have consistently low stress levels, and adolescents with chronically high or increasing stress during high school tended to have had less parental support and exhibit more antisocial behaviors in ninth grade than youth with decreasing or consistently low stress. In conclusion, it was found that individuals may have differing trajectories of stress over time, either consistent patterns or displaying change over time. Youth report differing levels of stress over time, and that the antecedents and consequences of these trajectories differ as well. References
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Black/African Americans; Children at risk; Longitudinal studies; Stress assessment; Time series
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