Environmental sources of psychosocial support have been found to modulate or protect against the development of psychopathology and risk behavior among adolescents. Capturing sources of environmental support across multiple developmental contexts requires the availability of well-validated, concise assessments—of which there are few in the existing literature. In order to address this need, the current study explored the factor structure, concurrent and convergent validity of the Environmental Supports Scale (ESS; Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 117; 395–417, 1991) with a community sample of adolescents. An unconstrained exploratory factor analysis revealed a separate factor for home, school, and neighborhood settings. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability were evaluated for each factor. Concurrent and predictive validity analyses revealed that the ESS was associated in the expected directions across a range of constructs relevant to adolescent development including internalizing symptoms, well-being, external influences, and engagement in risk behavior. Convergent validity for the neighborhood context was established with an assessment of neighborhood environmental adversity. A brief assessment of perceived environmental support across key developmental contexts provides an important tool for research on resilience processes during adolescence and may help illuminate key protective factors and inform intervention and prevention efforts.
- Environmental support
- Psychosocial support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health