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Contextual risk and resiliency during late adolescence

  • Alfred L. Baldwin (a1), Clara P. Baldwin (a1), Timothy Kasser (a1), Melvin Zax (a1), Arnold Sameroff (a2) and Ronald Seifer (a3)...


The factors contributing to the mental health of a sample of 18-year-olds were analyzed in a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The contribution of proximal variables such as parenting behavior, intermediate variables such as other family factors, and the more distal variables such as social class and minority status were all highly significant. Child variables were also found to make significant contributions to understanding mental health. When the sample was divided into three subsamples, white advantaged, white disadvantaged, and African American (almost entirely disadvantaged), the mental health of the African American sample was higher than that of the white disadvantaged sample. The regression coefficients fit to the whole sample underestimated the mental health of the African Americans and overestimated the health of the white disadvantaged. The parenting of the African American sample was less approving and more critical and more controlling than that of the other two samples. To investigate the correlates of resilience, pairs of subjects were contrasted who had the same mental health but differed in whether they exceeded or were less than the mental health predicted for them. None of the variables in the study differentiated significantly between the two groups.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alfred and Clara Baldwin, Senior Research Associates, University of Rochester, Department of Psychology, Rochester, NY 14627.


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