Background: The link between parental monitoring and adolescent alcohol use is well established, but the directionality of this relationship is somewhat elusive. The literature suggests that parental engagement serves a protective function with respect to alcohol use, but that parental monitoring may also diminish in response to recurrent risk behavior. The lower rate of alcohol use despite evidence of lower levels of parental monitoring in Black versus White youth raises the question of for whom and under what conditions parental monitoring and alcohol use are associated. Methods: Data were drawn from a community sample of 1,634 female adolescents (954 Black, 680 White) from 4 age cohorts, assessed annually in an accelerated longitudinal design. This study uses data spanning ages 12 to 17; parental monitoring and alcohol use were assessed via self-report, while demographic and adolescent psychosocial risk factors were derived from parent reports when the girls were age 12. An autoregressive cross-lagged panel mixture model was used to identify discrete patterns of parental monitoring and alcohol use associations across adolescence, and psychosocial factors that differentiate between them. Results: Two discrete patterns of codeveloping alcohol use and parental monitoring emerged: one with stable bidirectional and autoregressive links (79%) and another differing from the majority profile in terms of the absence (alcohol use to parental monitoring) and direction (parental monitoring to alcohol use) of cross-construct influences (21%). Those in the minority profile were, at age 12, more likely to have received public assistance, resided in single-parent households, reached puberty, and manifest more severe conduct problems. Conclusions: Identifying subgroups of girls with distinct patterns of codeveloping alcohol use and parental monitoring is particularly relevant to the development and implementation of family-level interventions, both in terms of targeting those with known demographic risk factors, and tailoring programs to address behavioral correlates, such as conduct problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Adolescent Girls
- Alcohol Use
- Cross-Lagged Panel Mixture Analysis
- Parental Monitoring