Youth psychosocial and school adjustment results from complex developmental transactions between their individual characteristics and diverse environmental influences, which appear as risk or protective factors throughout one’s development.
From an ecosystemic and developmental perspective, this study aims to: (1) identify risk profiles among 13-year-old adolescents, and (2) associate these specific profiles with school dropout risk and substance abuse at age 15 years.
Data comes from a large Canadian study, the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Development through which adolescents (n = 1312) answered questionnaires at 13 and 15 years old.
First, through latent profile analyses, five profiles were identified based on individual, family, social, and school-based risk factors. Some profiles present higher levels of risk factors, while others comprise risk factors that are under the sample average level. Higher-risk profiles show stronger longitudinal associations with later adjustment difficulties.
The findings help provide a deeper understanding of how the co-occurrence of various risk factors in adolescence is associated with later adjustment. The combination of the developmental psychopathology and ecosystemic frameworks, as well as the person-centered approach allowed by the latent profile analyses, helps shed new light on individual and developmental risk.