The investigation examined whether mothers’ optimism and family routine in serial order, mediated the association of kin support with adolescents’ externalizing problems in a sample of urban, low income, African American mothers and adolescents (N = 200). The study is grounded in the Integrative Model for the Study of Developmental Competencies in Minority Children, which predicts that mothers who receive more support from extended family will report higher levels of optimism and will create more routine and order in the home and in turn, will have adolescents who exhibit less problem behavior. Hypotheses were examined with structured interviews administered to mothers and adolescents. Results revealed that kin support was negatively associated with adolescents’ externalizing problems. Kin support was also positively linked to mothers’ optimism and family routine. Mothers’ optimism and family routine in serial order mediated the association of kin support with adolescents’ externalizing problems. Findings reveal some of the process through which kin support, a vital resource in many African American families, may be linked to positive outcomes. Implications for promoting adolescent adjustment and family relations are discussed.