Longitudinal associations of parental monitoring and delinquent peer affiliation: The potential influence of parental solicitation and monitoring rules

Erin P. Vaughan, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Julianne S. Speck, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Paul J. Frick, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Emily L. Robertson, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA.
James V. Ray, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Laura C. Thornton, Abt Associates, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Tina D. Wall Myers, Louisiana Department of Health, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Laurence Steinberg


INTRODUCTION: Poor parental monitoring has been theorized as a key risk factor for an adolescent's association with deviant peers. However, measurements of parental monitoring often only measure parental knowledge rather than parental monitoring actions, leaving the true longitudinal associations between parental monitoring and peer delinquency unclear. METHODS: The current sample consisted of 1095 male justice-involved adolescents (13-17 years old at baseline collected between 2011 and 2013) from across the United States who provided survey data every 6 months for 3 years. Longitudinal associations between parental monitoring constructs (i.e., parental solicitation and monitoring rules) and peer delinquency were tested using random intercept cross-lagged panel models to investigate both between-individual associations and within-individual bidirectional effects. RESULTS: Although parental monitoring and peer delinquency were negatively related at a between-individual level, very few within-individual directional effects were found. The few within-individual effects present indicated that parental solicitation predicted greater peer delinquency and peer delinquency predicted fewer parental monitoring rules over time. CONCLUSIONS: Current findings indicate that, while greater overall parental monitoring is associated with less peer delinquency, there is little evidence that changes in parental monitoring lead to reductions in peer delinquency over time. Results support previous findings suggesting parental monitoring should not be the sole target of intervention for reducing peer delinquency.