Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 668–678 | Cite as

Link Between Monitoring Behavior and Adolescent Adjustment: An Analysis of Direct and Indirect Effects

  • Michael M. Criss
  • Tammy K. Lee
  • Amanda Sheffield Morris
  • Lixian Cui
  • Cara D. Bosler
  • Karina M. Shreffler
  • Jennifer S. Silk
Original Paper


The purpose of the current investigation was to explore whether monitoring behavior (i.e., parental solicitation, child disclosure, and parental involvement) was directly and indirectly (via parental knowledge and parent–youth openness) related to adolescent adjustment (i.e., antisocial behavior, substance use, and school grades). The sample consisted of 206 families with adolescents (ages 10–18 years) from predominantly low-income, high-risk neighborhoods. Monitoring behavior (parent reports), parental knowledge and parent–youth openness (youth reports), and adolescent adjustment (parent and youth reports) were all based on questionnaire data collected during a laboratory assessment. Results showed that when the monitoring behavior factors were examined simultaneously, only child disclosure was significantly and inversely related to youth antisocial behavior. In contrast, only parental involvement was significantly associated with less substance use. Moreover, school grades were significantly and incrementally predicted by both child disclosure and parental involvement. Parental solicitation was not significantly related to any of the adolescent outcomes. The findings also demonstrated evidence of indirect effects (via parental knowledge) in the link between monitoring behavior and adolescent adjustment. Implications regarding the socialization process during adolescence are discussed.


Parental monitoring Child disclosure Parenting Adolescents Antisocial behavior Academic achievement 



This research was supported by the following grants: a United States Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma Agriculture Experiment Station Project grant (AB-1-13921) awarded to Michael Criss; an Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) Grant (AA-5-40772 and AA-5-45433; Project # HR11-130) awarded to Amanda Morris, Michael Criss, and Karina Shreffler; and a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (AA-5-43382, 1R15HD072463-01) R15 Grant awarded to Amanda Morris, Michael Criss, and Jennifer Silk. We also would like to thank the families for participating in the project and the research staff of Family Youth & Development Project for their hard work and dedication to the project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael M. Criss
    • 1
  • Tammy K. Lee
    • 1
  • Amanda Sheffield Morris
    • 2
  • Lixian Cui
    • 3
  • Cara D. Bosler
    • 4
  • Karina M. Shreffler
    • 2
  • Jennifer S. Silk
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family Science, 233 Human SciencesOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family ScienceOklahoma State UniversityTulsaUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal JusticeRogers State UniversityClaremoreUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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