Probabilistic (or Risk) Trajectories of Family Structure and Adolescent Depression

Han Soo Woo, Johns Hopkins University

Studies on the dynamics of family structure include research on family instability and risk of family disruption. These researches present particular ways of conceptualizing the temporal dynamics of family structure and highlight unique consequences associated with each. This paper introduces another way, a new way, of conceptualizing family structure dynamics based on the probabilistic trajectories. Unlike prior hazard model types we do not measure the risk patterns of family structure based on any a priori grouping of population but rather identify the population groups ex post based on how family structure present themselves as distinct probabilistic paths. To these paths, we associate the likelihood of sample respondents’ membership. For Baltimore youths (N=788), our analyses reveal that children followed five distinct trajectories of family structure. Race and socioeconomic status are identified as strong risk factors and adolescent depression signficant outcome for different trajectories of family structure. General mixture modeling is used.

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Presented in Poster Session 5