A developmental cascade model of adolescent peer relationships, substance use, and psychopathological symptoms from child maltreatment

Dalhee Yoon, Miyoung Yoon, Xiafei Wang, Ada A. Robinson-Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Although previous studies have demonstrated high intercorrelations among deviant peer affiliation, substance use, externalizing and internalizing symptoms in adolescence, these studies have been limited because they did not examine 1) the associations over time by assuming one particular sequence; and 2) child maltreatment effects. Methods: This study included 617 adolescents (54.3 % girls, 55.6 % Black) at-risk of maltreatment living in the U.S and primarily low-income. Deviant peer affiliation was assessed at ages 12, 14, and 16 using 13 items from the modified version of the Youth Risk Behavior and Monitoring the Future Survey. Externalizing and internalizing symptoms were measured at ages 12, 14, and 16 using the Child Behavior Checklist. The number of substances used (ages 12, 14, 16, and 18) were created by summing the self-reported alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Each type of maltreatment (birth to age 12) was assessed using the self-report. Results: Autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation modeling explained the stability effects within each domain, as well as how different maltreatment types affect diverse developmental processes. Cross-lagged results showed the socialization effects of peers on substance use, whereas the peer selection effects on externalizing symptoms. Physical abuse was only associated with externalizing symptoms, while sexual abuse was associated with both externalizing and internalizing symptoms. Additionally, emotional abuse was associated with deviant peer affiliation and substance use. Conclusions: Identifying the underlying reciprocal processes offers a deeper understanding of peer relationships in the substance use and externalizing symptoms among at-risk of maltreatment sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106054
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Child maltreatment
  • Deviant peer affiliation
  • Externalizing symptoms
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Peer relationship
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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