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Dev Psychol. 2000 May;36(3):366-80.

What parents know, how they know it, and several forms of adolescent adjustment: further support for a reinterpretation of monitoring.

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Department of Psychology, Orebro University, Sweden.


Parental monitoring has been conceptualized as tracking and surveillance but operationalized as knowledge of daily activities. This study tested the tracking and surveillance explanation of why parental knowledge is linked to better adolescent adjustment. Participants were 1,186 14-year-olds in central Sweden and their parents. The results supported and extended a reinterpretation of parental monitoring (H. Stattin & M. Kerr, in press). Across sex and informant, high parental knowledge was linked to multiple measures of good adjustment. But children's spontaneous disclosure of information explained more of these relations than parents' tracking and surveillance efforts did. Parents' control efforts were related to good adjustment only after the child's feelings of being controlled, which were linked to poor adjustment, were partialed out. The findings suggest that parents' tracking and surveillance efforts are not as effective as previously thought.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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