Parental Monitoring: An Examination of Antecedents and Bidirectional Associations With Child and Adolescent Conduct Problems
Racz, Sarah Jensen
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Inadequate parental monitoring is widely recognized as a risk factor for the development of child and adolescent conduct problems. However, the majority of previous studies examining parental monitoring have largely measured parental knowledge, the outcome of parental monitoring, during middle and later adolescence. Therefore, it is unclear how parental monitoring (defined as parental solicitation and control) develops over time and what relationship this parenting behavior has with child and adolescent conduct problems. This study examined data from the Fast Track project, a multisite longitudinal study aimed at the development and prevention of conduct problems in children at-risk for these behaviors. Latent trajectory modeling (LTM) was used to examine growth in parental monitoring from Grades 4-5 and 7-11 as well as several proposed antecedents of this parenting behavior. The longitudinal relationship between parental monitoring and child conduct problems was examined through bivariate LTMs and ALT models. There was little average growth in parental solicitation and control in these data, but evidence for significant variability in initial levels of, and growth in, these parenting behaviors was identified. Higher levels of parental solicitation and lower levels of parental control were associated with lower levels of child conduct problems. Evidence of bidirectional associations between parental solicitation (per child report) and child conduct problems was also identified. Moderation findings indicated that parental monitoring is particularly difficult to implement effectively in high-risk neighborhoods. Several early childhood antecedents of parental monitoring were also identified, suggesting potential targets for clinical interventions aimed at reducing child conduct problems.
- Psychology