Objective: The main goal of the study was to analyze youth's externalizing problem behaviors based on a risk and protective factors framework in two different cultural settings. Method: Data were collected among secondary school students in Szeged, Hungary (N=1240) and in Birmingham, AL, USA (N=1538). The self-administered questionnaires contained items on youth's externalizing problem behaviors as well as risk and protective factors. Results: In both samples, first year students in secondary (high) schools and boys reported greater levels of problem behaviors. Multiple regression analyses revealed that substance use, gang membership and low academic achievement were consistent risk factors and associated with higher reporting levels of problem behaviors in both cultures. Parental monitoring served as an important protective factor in both samples, while school protective factors were only significant for American students. Conclusion: Findings draw attention to similar structures of certain risk and protective factors of youth's externalizing problem behaviors in different cultural settings. While there are universal risk factors (e. g., substance use, gang membership and low academic achievement), parental monitoring seems to be a universal protective factor against youth's externalizing problem behavior. An important difference is that the school domain seems to act as more important protection for American youth.
- Externalizing problem behavior
- Protective factors
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health