Does parental monitoring influence the use of alcohol and drugs among inner city 7th grade students?

Rangika Chathurani Fernando, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objective. To examine associations between parental monitoring and adolescent alcohol/drug use. Methods. 981 7th grade students from 10 inner-city middle schools were surveyed at the 3 month follow-up of an HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention program. Data from 549 control subjects were used for analyses. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations between five parental monitoring variables and substance use, coded as: low risk [never drank alcohol or used drugs (0)], moderate risk [drank alcohol, no drug use (1)], and high risk [both drank alcohol and used drugs or just used drugs (2)]. Results. Participants were 58.3% female, 39.6% African American, 43.8% Hispanic, mean age 13.3 years. Lifetime alcohol use was 47.9%. Lifetime drug use was 14.9%. Adjusted for gender, age, race, and family structure, each individual parental monitoring variable (perceived parental monitoring, less permissive parental monitoring, greater supervision (public places), greater supervision (teen clubs), and less time spent with older teens) was significant and protective for the moderate and high risk groups. When all 5 variables were entered into a single model, only perceived parental monitoring was significantly associated (OR=0.40, 95% CI 0.29-0.55) for the moderate risk group. For the high risk group, 3 variables were significantly protective (perceived parental monitoring OR=0.28, CI 0.18-0.42, less time spent with older teens OR=0.75, CI 0.60-0.93, and greater supervision (public places) OR=0.79, CI 0.64-0.99). Conclusion. The association between parental monitoring and substance abuse is complex and varied for different risk levels. Implications for intervention development are addressed.

Subject Area

Public health|Individual & family studies|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Fernando, Rangika Chathurani, "Does parental monitoring influence the use of alcohol and drugs among inner city 7th grade students?" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1450270.