Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 463–478

A Longitudinal Examination of the Bidirectional Associations Among Perceived Parenting Behaviors, Adolescent Disclosure and Problem Behavior Across the High School Years

Empirical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-010-9567-9

Cite this article as:
Willoughby, T. & Hamza, C.A. J Youth Adolescence (2011) 40: 463. doi:10.1007/s10964-010-9567-9


This longitudinal study investigated the importance of parental monitoring to the deterrence of adolescent problem behavior by examining bidirectional associations among perceived parental monitoring, adolescent disclosure and problem behaviors across the high school years. Adolescents (N = 2,941; 50.3% female) were surveyed each year from grades 9 through 12. There was a reciprocal association between problem behavior and parental knowledge, such that higher parental knowledge predicted reduced problem behavior over time and higher problem behavior in turn predicted lower parental knowledge. It was adolescent disclosure that predicted parental knowledge, however, rather than parental monitoring behaviors. Parental control was a direct deterrent of problem behavior over time, and time spent engaged in family fun activities demonstrated indirect links to problem behavior, particularly through parental control and adolescent disclosure. Importantly, these effects were invariant across grade. Overall, these findings suggest a “family-centered process”, rather than primarily a youth-driven or parent-driven process, in the prediction of problem behavior.


Adolescent problem behaviorLongitudinal studyBidirectional effectsPerceived parental monitoring behaviorsAdolescent disclosure

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada