Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 3853–3865 | Cite as

Well-being and Substance Use in Emerging Adulthood: The Role of Individual and Family Factors in Childhood and Adolescence

  • ChienTi Plummer LeeEmail author
  • Troy Beckert
  • Ian Marsee
Original Paper


The present study examined the long-term impact of individual and family factors during childhood and adolescence on outcomes associated with the transition to adulthood, specifically well-being and substance use. Data for this study were drawn from the Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Transition to Adulthood (TA) surveys (n = 1362), both a part of The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). We first examined the influence of individual and family factors from childhood and adolescence on well-being and substance use during the transition to adulthood using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). We then applied a mixture modeling approach to evaluate whether there were subgroups (latent classes) in these transitions to adulthood outcomes, and how these subgroups linked with the individual and family factors from younger years. We found that, in general, parental acceptance and psychological control in childhood and adolescence predicted all aspects of well-being during the transition to adulthood. Substance use during this transition was linked with being male, White, and heightened parental psychological control. Overall, observable differential associations between individual and family factors during childhood and adolescence and outcomes in later life highlighted a need to evaluate transitional aspects independently, rather than grouping young adults all together.

Key words

Well-being Substance use Individual behavioral problems Parental acceptance Parental control Economic problems Transition into adulthood 



The authors thank the Panel Study of Income Dynamics research team for providing us with the data necessary for our analysis.


The collection of PSID data used in this study was partly supported by the National Institutes of Health under grant number R01 HD069609 and the National Science. Foundation under award number 1157698. No direct support was received from grant R01 HD069609 and National Science Foundation (1157698) for completing analyses and writing this manuscript. This article did not receive any funding for study design, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Author Contributions

C.L.: Designed the study, ran data analyses, and took lead role in drafting manuscript. T.B.: Assisted with study design and provided substantial content and editing assistance. I.M.: Assisted with literature review material.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Data for this study was drawn from the Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Transition to Adulthood (TA) surveys from The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a nationally representative longitudinal study. This article does not contain any studies with human participants recruited by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin at MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA
  3. 3.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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