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J Adolesc Health. 2000 Jul;27(1):49-56.

Impact of perceived parental monitoring on adolescent risk behavior over 4 years.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown 26506-9214, USA.



To determine the stability of perceived parental monitoring over time and its long-term effect on health risk behaviors among low-income, urban African-American children and adolescents.


Prospective, longitudinal follow-up (4 years).


A total of 383 African-American youth aged 9-15 years at baseline recruited from nine recreation centers serving three public housing communities in an Eastern city.


A six-item measure assessing perceived parental monitoring and an 11-item self-reported measure assessing unprotected sex, drug use, and drug trafficking were administered at baseline and at regular intervals over the subsequent 4 years.


Concordance was assessed by Pearson correlation coefficients at the level of scale and by kappa scores at the level of items. The association between the monitoring score and risk involvement was determined by stepwise multiple regression analysis including parental monitoring, age, gender, intervention status, and two-way interactions between parental monitoring and age, gender, intervention status as independent variables.


The perception of being monitored demonstrated consistency over time. Parental monitoring was inversely correlated with all three targeted risk behaviors cross-sectionally and prospectively.


These data provide evidence for an inverse relationship between perceived parental monitoring and risk involvement cross-sectionally and longitudinally. These data support the long-term effect of perceived parental monitoring on risk behaviors among urban, low-income African-American children and adolescents. Coupled with some evidence suggesting that directed interventions might be able to increase parental monitoring, this study provides a solid platform for reinforcing the importance of parental monitoring and directing intervention efforts at strengthening parental monitoring to reduce adolescent risk behaviors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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