Immediate Influence

Involved monitoring

Parent construct: Caring parents

Involved monitoring has been identified as an important component of effective parenting. Monitoring is a tool of parenting that allows the parent to actively monitor and supervise his or her child’s behavior to know more about what the child is doing and with whom. Monitoring includes environmental strategies (i.e. not allowing a television in the bedroom), verbal monitoring (i.e. stating rules), and tracking of the child (i.e. calling to see if the child is at a friend’s house).1 Involved monitoring also includes the monitoring of homework and school progress.2 Parents who actively monitor their children will know more about their child’s daily activities and friends and may be better able to prevent negative activities and friendships. Monitoring activities will change as the child ages. As children age and enter school, monitoring of school attendance and grades as well as activities away from home becomes more important. As peers become more involved in the child’s life, monitoring of where the child is when he or she is with friends, in addition to who the friends are, are key activities.1,3 Parents can get information on monitoring from several sources, such as asking the child or the child’s friends directly, their children can tell them spontaneously, and the parent can set rules and restrictions on the child’s activities and friendships.4 Involved, monitoring has been associated with alcohol use, conduct problems, juvenile delinquency, substance use, sexual behavior, and academic outcomes.3

Related Interventions



  1. Dishion, T. J., & McMahon, R. J. (1998). Parental monitoring and the prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior: a conceptual and empirical formulation. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 1(1), 61-75.  

  2. Spera, C. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 125-146.  

  3. Crouter, A. C., & Head, M. R. (2002). Parental monitoring and knowledge of children. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (2nd ed., pp. 461-483). Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum.  

  4. Stattin, H., & Kerr, M. (2000). Parental monitoring: a reinterpretation. Child Dev, 71(4), 1072-1085.