Monitoring challenges: a closer look at parental monitoring, maternal psychopathology, and adolescent sexual risk.

Research paper by Wendy W Hadley, Heather L HL Hunter, Marina M Tolou-Shams, Celia C Lescano, Ariel A Thompson, Geri G Donenberg, Ralph R DiClemente, Larry K LK Brown,

Indexed on: 23 Mar '11Published on: 23 Mar '11Published in: Journal of family psychology : JFP : journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43)


The present study sought to examine associations between maternal psychopathology, parental monitoring, and adolescent sexual activity among adolescents in mental health treatment. Seven hundred ninety mother-adolescent dyads recruited from adolescent mental health treatment settings completed audio computer-assisted structured interview assessments examining parent psychiatric symptoms, parental monitoring, and adolescent sexual risk behavior. Path analysis was used to examine the associations between variables of interest. Maternal caregivers who reported more mental health symptoms were more likely to have adolescents who reported recent sex and this relationship was mediated by less parental monitoring. These findings suggest that maternal caregivers with mental health symptoms may need specific interventions that provide assistance and support in monitoring their teens in order to reduce sexual risk taking among adolescents in mental health treatment.