Psychosocial Problems Among Truant Youths: A Multi-Group, Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

Richard Dembo, Rhissa Briones-Robinson, Kimberly Barrett, Ken C Winters, Rocio Ungaro, Lora Karas, Jennifer Wareham, Steven Belenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Truant youths represent a critical group needing problem-oriented research and involvement in effective services. The limited number of studies on the psychosocial functioning of truant youths have focused on one or a few problem areas, rather than examining comorbid problem behaviors. The present study addresses the need to examine the interrelationships of multiple domains of psychosocial functioning, including substance involvement, mental health, and delinquency, among truant youths. Exploratory structural equation modeling on baseline data collected on 219 truant youths identified two major factors reflecting psychosocial functioning and found that the factor structure was similar across major sociodemographic subgroups. Further analyses supported the validity of the factor structure. The research and service delivery implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-465
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported in this article was funded by NIDA Grant #DA021561. The authors are grateful for NIDA’s support, as well as the local participating agencies. Address correspondence to Richard Dembo, PhD, Criminology Department, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA. E-mail:


  • delinquency
  • mental health
  • psychosocial problems
  • substance use
  • truancy


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychosocial Problems Among Truant Youths: A Multi-Group, Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this