Michelle Moon


This study examined the ecological influences, outlined by Bronfenbrenner (1994), to understand adolescent behavior. It was hypothesized that proximal ecological influences would be significantly related to behavioral outcomes. Participants (N= 244) were students attending traditional and continuation high schools in a Southern California school district. They completed a 15-page questionnaire that included scales used to assess the ecological domains of Family Process, Peers, Community (school climate), Personal Characteristics, and the criterion measures of Drug and Alcohol Use, School Performance and Gang and Criminal Activity.

Principal axis factor extraction with oblique rotation was performed on predictor variables related to the ecological domains and the criterion variable of Delinquency. Five factors were extracted. Attachment to Peers was not included in the factor analysis because of problems of multicolinearity, but Attachment to Peers was included as a variable in the regression analyses. The five factors extracted were conceptualized into "Personal Characteristics," "School and Parental Involvement," "Drug and Alcohol Use," "School Performance," and "Gang and Criminal Activity." Three two-step hierarchical multiple regression analyses were carried out to examine the relationship among the three predictors and the three criterion variables. In each of the analyses, the variable Personal Characteristics was entered in using standard entry on the first block, and the subsequent predictors were also entered standard entry, on step two. In all three regression analyses Personal Characteristics accounted for a significant amount of the variance when entered alone on Step 1. When entered on Step 2 with School and Parental Involvement and Attachment to Peers, it was found to predict an insignificant amount of variance for Drug and Alcohol Use or Gang Activity, and only a small amount of variance on School Performance. School/Parental Involvement was a significant predictor in the regression analyses for all criterion measures: Drug and Alcohol Use, Gang and Criminal Activity, and School Performance. Although Attachment to Peers accounted for less of the variance than the School/Parental Involvement variable, it was predictive in two of the three regression analyses, predicting Drug and Alcohol Use and Gang and Criminal Activity. The results of the present investigation supported an ecological model and the importance of proximal influences in the prediction of adolescent behavior. viii

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Matt L. Riggs

Second Advisor

Hector Betancourt

Third Advisor

David V. Chavez

Fourth Advisor

Michael M. Karpman

Fifth Advisor

Joanna S. Worthley

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Developmental psychology; Environmental psychology; Adolescent psychology; Adolescent behavior; Social psychology; Youth -- Drug use; Teenagers -- Drug use; Juvenile delinquency.



Page Count

viii; 47

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives