Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Great Plains Research 15:2 (Fall 2005). Copyright © 2005 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


The purpose of our project was to investigate well-functioning adolescents to identify familial influences that may account for their positive developmental outcomes and healthy life choices. A family systems perspective was used to conceptualize this project. More than 300 teenagers were surveyed about family influences on adolescent outcomes. Results indicated that teen religiosity, parental warmth, parental monitoring, and a low occurrence of stressful life events were related to teen depression, participation in risky behaviors, and parental-teen conflict. General conclusions were drawn about the importance of the family environment on teen behavior and the usefulness of a systems point of view when studying individual behavior.