Low parental monitoring predicts subsequent pregnancy among African-American adolescent females

Academic Article


  • Study Objective: Accumulating evidence suggests that parental monitoring is associated with adolescents' sexual risk behaviors. However, evidence associating low parental monitoring with greater odds of becoming pregnant has not been reported. The objective of this study was to prospectively assess the relationship of low perceived parental monitoring with incidence of biologically confirmed pregnancy among a sample of low-income African-American adolescent females. Design: A prospective study. Setting and Participants: African-American females 14-18 years of age were recruited from schools and health clinics in low-income neighborhoods. Adolescents completed an in-depth survey and interview at baseline and 6 months later. The study achieved an 85.7% baseline participation rate (n = 522) and 92% (n = 482) returned at follow-up. Only adolescents who initially tested negative for pregnancy were included in the analysis (n = 410). Main Outcome Measure: Incidence of biologically assessed pregnancy. Results: In controlled analyses, among adolescents testing negative for pregnancy at baseline, those who reported less parental monitoring were 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant in the 6-month follow-up period (AOR = 2.50, 95% CI = 1.1-5.9, P < .04). Conclusion: Low parental monitoring was prospectively associated with incidence of biologically confirmed pregnancy among minority adolescent females. This finding adds to a growing body of empirical literature that supports the value of parental monitoring as a protective factor in adolescents' lives. Interventions designed to increase parental monitoring or adolescent females' perceptions of their parents' monitoring may be effective components of pregnancy prevention programs designed for minority youth.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Crosby RA; DiClemente RJ; Wingood GM; Harrington K; Davies S; Hook EW; Oh MK
  • Start Page

  • 43
  • End Page

  • 46
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 1