Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Structural Home Environment Effects on Developmental Trajectories of Self-Control and Adolescent Risk Taking

  • Christopher HolmesEmail author
  • Alexis Brieant
  • Rachel Kahn
  • Kirby Deater-Deckard
  • Jungmeen Kim-Spoon
Empirical Research


Extant literature has demonstrated that self-control is critical for health and adjustment in adolescence. Questions remain regarding whether there are individuals that may be most vulnerable to impaired self-control development and whether aspects of the structural home environment may predict membership in these subgroups, as well as the behavioral consequences of impaired self-control trajectories. The present study utilized growth mixture modeling and data from 1083 individuals (50% female, 82% White) from age 8.5 to 15 years to identify four latent classes of self-control development. Additionally, higher household chaos and lower socioeconomic status at age 8.5 were associated with maladaptive trajectories of self-control at ages 8.5–11.5. In turn, maladaptive self-control trajectories at ages 8.5–11.5 were associated with higher risk taking at age 15. The results highlight the importance of increased structure and support for at-risk youth.


SES Household chaos Self-control Risk taking Adolescence 



This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded to Jungmeen Kim-Spoon/Brooks King-Casas (DA 036017) and Gene Brody (DA 027827), and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded to Kirby Deater-Deckard (HD 054481). We thank Kathy Faris for reviewing literature relevant to the current study and Eileen Neubaum Carlan for editorial assistance. The Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development was conducted by the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, and was supported by NICHD through a cooperative agreement that calls for scientific collaboration between the grantees and the NICHD staff. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development or the National Institutes of Health. The authors thank the study participants and research staff.

Authors’ Contributions

C.H. conceived of the study, participated in its design, performed the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript; A.B. performed statistical analyses, edited the manuscript, and substantially contributed to the revisions of the manuscript; R.K. participated in the design of the study and helped to draft the manuscript; K.D.D. conceived of the study, participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and edited the manuscript; J.K.S. conceived of the study, participated in the design and interpretation of the data, and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded to Jungmeen Kim-Spoon/Brooks King-Casas (DA 036017) and Gene Brody (DA 027827), and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded to Kirby Deater-Deckard (HD 054481).

Data Sharing and Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Holmes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexis Brieant
    • 2
  • Rachel Kahn
    • 3
  • Kirby Deater-Deckard
    • 4
  • Jungmeen Kim-Spoon
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Family ResearchUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Sand Ridge Secure Treatment CenterMaustonUSA
  4. 4.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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