Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1688–1701 | Cite as

Parent–Child Discrepancies in Reports of Parental Monitoring and Their Relationship to Adolescent Alcohol-Related Behaviors

  • Caitlin C. Abar
  • Kristina M. Jackson
  • Suzanne M. Colby
  • Nancy P. Barnett
Empirical Research


Discrepancies between parents and adolescents regarding parenting behaviors have been hypothesized to represent a deficit in the parent–child relationship and may represent unique risk factors for poor developmental outcomes. The current study examined the predictive utility of multiple methods for characterizing discrepancies in parents’ and adolescents’ reports of parental monitoring on youth alcohol use behaviors in order to inform future study design and predictive modeling. Data for the current study came from a prospective investigation of alcohol initiation and progression. The analyzed sample consisted of 606 adolescents (6th–8th grade; 54 % female) and their parents were surveyed at baseline, with youth followed up 12 months later. A series of hierarchical logistic regressions were performed for each monitoring-related construct examined (parental knowledge, parental control, parental solicitation, and child disclosure). The results showed that adolescents’ reports were more closely related to outcomes than parents’ reports, while greater discrepancies were frequently found to be uniquely associated with greater likelihood of alcohol use behaviors. Implications for future work incorporating parents’ and adolescents’ reports are discussed.


Discrepancy Parental monitoring Parent Adolescent 



This paper was written with funding support through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to K. Jackson (R01 AA016838).

Author contributions

CA conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript; KJ participated in the design and interpretation of the data, helped with the statistical analysis, and helped to draft the manuscript; SC participated in the design and coordination of the study and helped to draft the manuscript; NB participated in the design and coordination of the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caitlin C. Abar
    • 1
  • Kristina M. Jackson
    • 2
  • Suzanne M. Colby
    • 2
  • Nancy P. Barnett
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY BrockportBrockportUSA
  2. 2.Center for Alcohol and Addiction StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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