A longitudinal study of the effects of family, friends, and school experiences on the psychological adjustment of ethnic minority, low-SES adolescents

Niobe Way, Melissa G. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined the independent and combined influence of demographic variables (gender and ethnicity) and contextual variables (perceived family and friend support, and school climate) on changes in psychological adjustment (self-esteem and depressive symptoms) over a 2-year period. The sample included 100 Black, Latino, and Asian American adolescents from low-income families. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that the increase over time in reported levels of self-esteem was significantly greater for those who reported more positive perceptions of school climate at Time 1. Unexpectedly, the increase in self-esteem and the decrease in depressive symptoms over time were also significantly greater for those who reported lower family support at Time 1. Post hoc analyses were conducted to better understand the patterns detected. Findings underscore the importance of positive school experiences for students' psychological well-being and the need to examine the meaning of family support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-346
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003



  • Depression
  • Ethnic minority
  • Family
  • School
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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