Measuring Community Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Problem Behaviors: Evidence from a Developing Nation

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Reports and Publications
April 2011
Edward R. Maguire, William Wells, Charles M. Katz

Most published research on community risk and protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors has been carried out in developed nations. This article examines community risk and protective factors in a sample of more than 2,500 adolescents in Trinidad and Tobago, a developing Caribbean nation. The authors examine the construct and concurrent validity of five community risk factors and two community protective factors. The findings of this study suggest that existing measures of risk and protective factors have weak construct validity when applied to a sample of youth from Trinidad and Tobago. The revised model specifications this study developed fit the data better than the original models developed in the United States. However, the concurrent validity of both sets of measures is weak. Our findings suggest the need for caution when transplanting measures of risk and protective factors from developed to developing nations.