Adolescents, Parents, and Monitoring: A Review of Constructs With Attention to Process and Theory


Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, 53 Campus Drive, 1124 Life Sciences Building, PO Box 6040, Morgantown, WV 26506-6040 (


This article summarizes the parental monitoring literature with attention to the fact that researchers have enlarged the pool of monitoring variables to the point that the literature is advancing in many new and sometimes opposing directions. The specific aims were as follows: (a) to trace parental monitoring constructs to early conceptualizations in the parenting literature; (b) to describe current self-report measurement models in terms of five broad constructs with attention to inconsistencies in measurement; (c) to outline a construct that has received increased attention, parent-adolescent communication; (d) to stress the importance of theory-based investigations; and (e) to describe the general need to translate findings to applied settings.