Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Wendy L. Kliewer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Southam-Gerow, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Traci Wike, Ph.D.


The purpose of the present study was to determine whether distinct patterns of adolescent adjustment existed when four domains of functioning were considered. The study included a sample of 299 high-risk urban adolescents, predominantly African American, ages 9-16 and their maternal caregivers. Cluster analysis was used to identify patterns of adjustment. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore whether variations in levels of five theoretically and empirically supported protective factors predicted cluster membership. A four-cluster model was determined to best fit the data. Higher rates of goal directedness and anger regulation coping predicted membership within the highest functioning cluster over a cluster demonstrating high externalizing problem behaviors, and neighborhood cohesion predicted highest functioning cluster membership over a cluster demonstrating high internalizing symptoms. Findings suggest that within a high-risk population of adolescents, significant variability in functioning will exist. The presence or absence of specific protective factors predicts developmental outcomes.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission