Methods: To fill this gap, the current study uses four waves (ages 11,12,15 and 17) of the Pitt Mother & Child Study, a study of urban, low-income boys (n= 310) to estimate fully crossed lagged path models in Mplus that tested the following hypotheses: H1: Neighborhood disadvantage at each time point will be negatively related to neighborhood social control and cohesion at subsequent time points, H2: Neighborhood cohesion and control at each time point will be positively related to parental monitoring at subsequent time points. Separate models were estimated for parents’ perceptions and adolescents’ perceptions of parental monitoring.
Results: The model predicting parents perception of parental monitoring (X2(DF) = 42.7(37), p=.24; RMSEA =.02; CFI= 1.00; TLI=.99; SRMR = .03) and youths perceptions of parental monitoring (X2(DF) = 36.55(37), p=.49; RMSEA =.00; CFI=1.00; TLI=1.00; SRMR =.03) both demonstrated excellent model fit. Stability paths were all significant. Additionally, parent’s perception of neighborhood cohesion at one time point was consistently positively related to higher rates of parental monitoring at the next time point in both models. Neighborhood social control, however, was negatively related to parental monitoring from age 12 to age 15 in both models.
Conclusions: Results support social disorganization theorist claim that supportive neighborhoods help parents monitor their children however there was a clear distinction between neighborhood social control and neighborhood cohesion. The relationship between perception of neighborhood cohesion and parental monitoring over time and across reporters suggests that neighborhood cohesion, or at least a parents perception of it, may help support their ability to monitor their adolescent’s behavior. This suggests that interventions designed to enhance parental monitoring may increase their efficacy by targeting the environment in which parents live.