A Contextual Exploration of Parental Monitoring in Latinx Parent-Adolescent Dyads

Chang Zhao, Emily M. May, Dawn P. Witherspoon, Saskia Boggs, Mayra Y. Bamaca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental monitoring of youth daily activities is a salient parenting strategy that has important implications for adolescents’ adjustment and safety. Limited research, however, has examined positive contextual factors that can facilitate parental monitoring behaviors in Latinx families. We examined parental warmth and neighborhood social processes (i.e., social cohesion, informal social control) as predictors of parental monitoring dimensions. Surveys were completed by 62 Latinx parent-adolescent dyads in a small, predominantly African American northeastern U.S. city. Results of structural equation modeling indicated positive associations between parental warmth and most dimensions of parental monitoring for parent and adolescent reports. For parent report, neighborhood social cohesion was positively associated with parental knowledge and youth disclosure; neighborhood informal social control was negatively associated with youth disclosure. Gender differences also emerged: parental warmth was positively associated with parental control for boys but not girls, and the negative association between informal social control and youth disclosure was significant only for boys. Findings suggest that parental monitoring often occurs in the context of a warm parent-child relationship. Parents’ experiences of their neighborhoods might have a stronger impact on parental monitoring strategies than adolescents’ experiences. Implications for future research include conceptualizing monitoring as multidimensional, assessing both parent and adolescent reports, and recruiting diverse Latinx ethnic groups and extended family members. Practitioners should be aware of family and neighborhood relational contexts when facilitating parenting practices in Latinx families. Program providers should offer culturally relevant programs that emphasize strengthening the family environment and parenting in addition to adolescent development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2492-2503
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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