Skip to main content


Ge, Xiaojia; Conger, Rand D.; Lorenz, Frederick O.; Elder, Glen H., Jr.; Montague, Ruth B.; & Simons, Ronald L. (1992). Linking Family Economic Hardship to Adolescent Distress. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2(4), 351-378.


A study of 451 families living in the rural Midwest examined the negative impact of financial problems on early adolescents' symptoms of psychological distress. The tested model links financial difficulties to adolescent psychological problems through the quality of marital and parent-child relationships. Results show that economic stress has a direct effect on marital quality which, in turn, disrupts or undermines the parent-child relationship. Negative feelings by parents and adolescents about their relationships tend to increase adolescent psychological distress. This general model operates similarly across four family dyads: fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, and mothers and daughters. Overall, the diminished quality of marital and parent-child relationships represents one pathway by which economic hardship places adolescents at risk for psychological dysfunction.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Research on Adolescence


Ge, Xiaojia
Conger, Rand D.
Lorenz, Frederick O.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.
Montague, Ruth B.
Simons, Ronald L.