Longitudinal Associations Between Parental Monitoring Discrepancy and Delinquency: An Application of the Latent Congruency Model
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Studies have shown that discrepancies (relative concordance or discordance) between parent and adolescent ratings are predictive of problem behaviors; monitoring, in particular, has been consistently linked to them. The current study tested whether discrepancies in perceptions of maternal monitoring, rated by mothers and youth at age 12, foretold delinquency (rule breaking) at age 15, and whether parental closeness and conflict predicted higher discrepancies, and indirectly, higher delinquency. The final study sample used the NICHD longitudinal dataset with N = 966 youth (50.1 % female) and their mothers (80.1 % European American, 12.9 % African American, 7 % other ethnicity). The analytic approach consisted of an extension and application of the Latent Congruency Model (LCM) to estimate monitoring discrepancies as well as age 15 delinquency scores. Findings showed that age 12 monitoring discrepancy was predictive of age 15 delinquency for both boys and girls based on youth reports, but not for maternal reports. Age 11 closeness predicted age 12 monitoring discrepancy, which served as a mediator for its effect on age 15 adolescent-reported delinquency. Thus, based on the rigorous LCM analytic approach which seeks to minimize the effects by competing explanations and to maximize precision in providing robust estimates, rates of perceived discordance in parenting behaviors during early adolescence matter in understanding variability in adolescent delinquency during middle adolescence.
KeywordsKnowledge Concordance Discordance Deviance Rule breaking Multi-informant Adolescence
The original NICHD SECCYD study was funded by United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U01 HD019897). This work was supported, in part, by the John I. and Patricia J. Buster Endowment to the second author.
AK conceived of the study, participated in its design, completed statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript; AV conceived of the study, participated in its design, and drafted the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Conflicts of interest
The authors report no conflict of interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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