Date of Award:

1999

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Glen O. Jenson

Abstract

Eighty-four adolescents responded to the survey administered for this study. Thirty-eight members were from the nonadjudicated community sample (e.g., from a semirural Utah community); 46 members of a juvenile court adjudicated group (e.g., juveniles from Cache County, Utah, who were currently on probation) also responded to a paper-pencil survey asking about protective/deficit factors and involvement in problematic behaviors.

Results illustrate the differences in levels of protective/deficit factors and problem behaviors attained between these two convenience samples for a number of variables. The findings showed that the nonadjudicated group consistently reported higher levels of protective factors and lower levels of problem behaviors than did the adjudicated group.

The nonadjudicated group showed some interesting differences and similarities for each of the specific protective/deficit factors and problem behaviors when compared to the adjudicated group. Few differences in the attainment of protective/deficit factors and problem behaviors were found within the samples by gender.

Parents' current marital status as intact (e.g., both natural parents were married to each other) showed a consistent relationship to an adolescent's status as either a member of the adjudicated or the nonadjudicated groups. Similarly, parents' current marital status showed a correlation to protective/deficit factors and problem behaviors exhibited in youth.

Religious affiliation also illustrated important relationships between the two samples. The findings showed that the Latter-day Saint (LDS) or Mormon nonadjudicated sample had attained statistically signifi cantly higher amounts of protective factors and statistically significantly lower amounts of problem behaviors. Similarly, a comparison of the Mormon adjudicated and the non-Mormon adjudicated groups revealed that the Mormons in the adjudicated group had attained statistically significantly lower amounts of problem behaviors but not statistically significantly higher amounts of protective factors.

Adolescents in both samples were similar in their choices to take a problem to an older sibling, an adult friend, or a grandparent. The nonadjudicated san1ple was statistically significantly different than the adjudicated sample in reporting their choices to take a problem to a parent/stepparent or a religious leader/teacher.

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