Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 June 2013
This study investigated associations of contextual variables of risk (stressful events and exposure to community violence), variables of protection (family environment, connectivity to the school and community perceptions) and demographic variables (gender and age) with indicators of psychosocial adjustment (self-esteem, involvement in illegal activities and alcohol use in past month) among adolescents. The participants were 685 students (61.5% girls) aged between 12 and 18 years (M = 15.10, SD = 1.52) of public schools in southern Brazil. They answered a questionnaire with 77 questions and an inventory for assessment of family relationships. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the negative perception of family environment, poor connectivity to the school and exposure to community violence were associated with low self-esteem. Involvement in illegal activities was associated with low connectivity to school, stressful events, exposure to community violence and male sex. Finally, alcohol use/month was associated with negative perception of the community, community violence, stressful events, and particularly at the ages of 15–16 years.