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J Natl Med Assoc. 2007 May;99(5):517-24.

Dynamic association between parental monitoring and communication and adolescent risk involvement among African-American adolescents.

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The Carmen and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.



To examine: (1) the relationship between parental monitoring and communication and adolescent risk involvement over time, including consideration of their potential interaction; and (2) the effect of consistent versus inconsistent monitoring and communication over time on adolescent risk behaviors.


Baseline and follow-up data were collected from 1999-2003. A total of 817 African-American adolescents and their parents were recruited from 35 low-income urban communities in Baltimore, MD. Perceived parental monitoring, parent-adolescent communication and seven risk behaviors were assessed. Logistic general estimating equation (GEE) models were performed to assess the dynamic association.


Perceived parental monitoring had protective effects on concurrent adolescent risk involvement over two-year observation. The protective effect on girls' sexual abstinence increased significantly over time. Perceived problem communication was associated with increased risk of concurrent involvement in violent behaviors, but the effect did not change over time. For girls, the probability of engaging in sex increased greatly (from 0.3 to 0.6) for those who perceived problem communication, while it remained stable (about 0.4) for those perceiving less problem communication.


The data confirm the protective effect of perceived parental monitoring on adolescent risk involvement. It also extends previous findings by showing the importance of consistent parental monitoring and communication.

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