Predictors of rebellious behavior in childhood: Parental drug use, peers, school environment, and child personality

Judith S. Brook, David W. Brook, Elinor B. Balka, Gary Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study assesses the interrelationships among several sets of variables and rebellious behavior in a sample of Puerto Rican and African American elementary school-aged children. The independent sets of variables (domains) were child personality attributes, parental attributes, including parental marijuana use, peer factors, school environment, and ethnic identification and discrimination. The dependent or outcome variable was children's rebellious behavior. Children and their mothers were interviewed in their homes. Pearson correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to assess the extent to which the independent variables were related to the children's rebellious behavior. Each of the domains was associated with children's rebellious behavior without control on the remaining domains. With control on the remaining domains, child personality accounted for the most variance in childhood rebellious behavior. With control on child personality, only the school environment remained significant. Children with personality traits that are associated with rebellious behavior may have parents who exhibit antisocial behavior and use marijuana. Furthermore, these children may be at risk for other problem behaviors, including legal drug use, and would benefit from interventions which address primarily their personality characteristics, but also their school environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Jun 2006


  • Child personality traits
  • Drug use
  • Ethnic discrimination
  • Ethnic identity
  • Parental attributes
  • Peer factors
  • Rebellious behavior
  • School environment
  • Tobacco use


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