Early-life family and school impacts on adolescent conduct problems: A path analysis

Rosa Sze Man WONG, Almen L. N. LAM, Keith T. S. TUNG, Nirmala RAO, Sarika S. Y. XIE, Jason C. YAM, Patrick IP

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Limited research has been conducted to examine the factors during early childhood that may contribute to conduct problems in later stages of life. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between family and school environments during early childhood and conduct problems in adolescence. In Wave 1 (W1), the study recruited 502 participants, aged 5–6 years, from Hong Kong local kindergartens, with 51.4% boys. One of their parents provided information about family socioeconomic status (SES), parent–child recreational activities, and child screen time, whereas the class teacher rated their school readiness using the Chinese version of the Early Development Instrument. Data on the number of special facilities were obtained from the kindergartens. In Wave 2 (W2), the same parents of 395 participants were asked about their involvement in their children's education. Finally, in Wave 3 (W3), the parents of 206 participants completed the Conduct Problem scale of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire to evaluate the level of conduct problems in the participants. The results of the path analysis revealed that higher W1 family SES was associated with fewer W3 conduct problems through an increase in W1 and W2 parental involvement in children's learning and play activities. Findings have implications for understanding the impact of early-life family and school environments on adolescent conduct problems. Early childhood interventions that promote family resources and positive parent–child interactions have the potential to reduce adolescent conduct problems. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Process
Early online date2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


Wong, R. S., Lam, A. L. N., Tung, K. T. S., Rao, N., Xie, S. S. Y., Yam, J. C., & Ip, P. (2024). Early-life family and school impacts on adolescent conduct problems: A path analysis. Family Process. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.13021


  • Adolescent conduct problems
  • Family socioeconomic status
  • Parent–child activities
  • Screen time
  • Teacher-parent partnership


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