Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 996–1011 | Cite as

A Longitudinal Family-Level Model of Arab Muslim Adolescent Behavior Problems

  • Karen J. Aroian
  • Thomas N. Templin
  • Edythe Ellison Hough
  • Vidya Ramaswamy
  • Anne Katz
Empirical Research


Arab-American Muslim adolescents in immigrant families face a number of challenges that put them at risk for behavior problems. This study of Arab-American Muslim Adolescents and their relatively recent immigrant mothers tested a longitudinal family-level model of adolescent behavior problems. Mother-adolescent dyads (N = 530) completed measures of maternal and adolescent stressors, active and avoidance coping, and social support; maternal distress; quality of mother–child relationship; and adolescent behavior problems at Time 1 and approximately 18 months later. The youth were between the ages of 11 and 15 years at Time 1 and 48.7% were girls. Longitudinal analyses were conducted using latent change modeling with change scores from Time 1 and Time 2 data. Social support facilitated active coping for both mothers and adolescents. Although maternal avoidance coping mediated maternal stressors and its effect on maternal distress, maternal stressors and maternal distress were not related to adolescent behavior problems. The only factor mitigating the effects of adolescent stressors on adolescent behavior problems was the quality of the mother–child relationship. These findings suggest that adolescents are insulated from maternal stress and distress as long as there is a good mother–child relationship.


Arab Muslim adolescents Arab Muslim mothers Stress and coping Adolescent behavior problems Immigrant mothers 



This research was supported by a grant from the United States National Institutes of Health National Institute of Nursing Research, R01NR 00854, Karen Aroian, Principal Investigator. The authors wish to acknowledge statistical consultation from John Tisak from Bowling Green University in Ohio.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen J. Aroian
    • 1
  • Thomas N. Templin
    • 2
  • Edythe Ellison Hough
    • 3
  • Vidya Ramaswamy
    • 4
  • Anne Katz
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Central Florida College of NursingOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health ResearchDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Wayne State University College of NursingDetroitUSA
  4. 4.College of PharmacyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Behavioral and Field Research Core at Karmanos Cancer InstituteDetroitUSA

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