Adolescents’ Daily Worries and Risky Behaviors: The Buffering Role of Support Seeking

Reout Arbel, Laura Perrone, Gayla Margolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With worries and risky behaviors becoming more prominent in adolescence, this study investigated bidirectional temporal connections between these two important adolescent concerns, that is, whether change in one concern is linked to change in the other either within the same day or during the next day. We also tested whether the coping strategy of seeking support from family and friends moderated the link between worries and risky behaviors. For 10 days, an ethnically and racially diverse sample of adolescents (N = 103; M age = 18.0) reported on 26 common worries, 18 risky behaviors, and the impact of seeking support from others. Multilevel models showed that worries and risky behaviors covaried on the same day and that worries predicted next-day risky behavior for male but not female participants. In contrast, risky behaviors did not predict next-day worries. For adolescents reporting negative experiences of support seeking, worries led to next-day risky behaviors and risky behaviors led to next-day worries. Female adolescents’ positive support-seeking experiences buffered the association between risky behaviors and next-day worries. These results were significant beyond any influence of daily negative mood or depressive and anxiety symptoms. The data demonstrate that worries and risky behaviors may be situational triggers for each other and highlight the importance, from intervention perspectives, of adolescents’ communication of concerns to others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-911
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by NIH-NICHD Grants R01 HD 046807 and R21 HD 072170 and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Grant 00-12802 (Margolin, PI), the American Association for University Women Fellowship, and the Israeli Council for Higher Education (Arbel, PI). We thank our USC Family Studies Project colleagues, as well as the families who participated in the study. This work has been supported by NIH-NICHD Grants R01 HD 046807 and R21 HD 072170 and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Grant 00-12802 (Margolin, PI), the American Association for University Women Fellowship, and the Israeli Council for Higher Education (Arbel, PI).

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by NIH-NICHD Grants R01 HD 046807 and R21 HD 072170 and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Grant 00-12802 (Margolin, PI), the American Association for University Women Fellowship, and the Israeli Council for Higher Education (Arbel, PI).

Publisher Copyright:
©, Copyright © Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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