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Psychosocial Problems Among Truant Youths: A Multi-Group, Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

NCJ Number
Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse Volume: 21 Issue: 5 Dated: November - December 2012 Pages: 440-465
Ken C. Winters; Rocio Ungaro; Lora Karas; Jennifer Wareham; Steven Belenko; Richard Dembo; Rhissa Briones-Robinson; Kimberly Barrett
Date Published
November 2012
26 pages
This study examined how psychological problems, delinquency, and substance us are interrelated among truant youths.
Truant youths represent a critical group needing problem-oriented research and involvement in effective services. The limited number of studies on the psychosocial functioning of truant youths have focused on one or a few problem areas, rather than examining comorbid problem behaviors. The present study addresses the need to examine the interrelationships of multiple domains of psychosocial functioning, including substance involvement, mental health, and delinquency, among truant youths. Exploratory structural equation modeling on baseline data collected on 219 truant youths identified two major factors reflecting psychosocial functioning and found that the factor structure was similar across major sociodemographic subgroups. Further analyses supported the validity of the factor structure. The research and service delivery implications of the findings are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.