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

Richard A. Crosby, Ralph J. DiClemente, Gina M. Wingood, Kathy Harrington, Suzy Davies, Edward W. Hook, M. Kim Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Research on AIDS, National Institute of Mental Health (1R01 MH54412) to the second author. Dr. Crosby was supported through an Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine/CDC STD Prevention Fellowship.


  • African American Adolescents
  • Parental monitoring
  • Teenage pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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