Family Management Practices

Family management practices include discipline, positive reinforcement, monitoring, and supervision. Poor parental monitoring and supervision and lack of consistent and appropriate discipline increase risk for adolescent risk behaviors. Lack of parental monitoring and supervision has been associated with early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviors; drug and alcohol use; and violence and delinquency in a large number of studies (DiClemente et al., 2001; Pilgrim et al., 2006; Romer et al., 1999). Harsh disciplinary practices such as repeated spanking are similarly associated with increased risk for substance use and aggression (Bronte-TInkew, Moore, & Carrano, 2006; Shaw et al., 1998; Straus & Kaufman, 1994).  Conversely, authoritative parenting – a style of parenting that balances limit setting and high expectations with support and warmth – is likely to reduce risk for adolescent substance use (Stephenson & Helme, 2006).

Outcomes monitoring activities can assess family management practices prior to, at regular intervals throughout, and immediately after the completion of the program. Programs seeking to affect this outcome should expect to find the percent of families engaging in effective family management (an aggregate-level performance measure) to increase before finding reduced levels of adolescent substance use. If this is not apparent early on, a closer examination of program design, implementation and quality of service delivery may be necessary.

By ChildTrends


Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

Romer, D., Stanton, B., Galbraith, J., Feigelman, S., Black, M. M., & Li, X. (1999). Parental influence on adolescent sexual behavior in high-poverty settings. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 153(10), 1055-1062.

DiClemente, R. J., Wingwood, G. M., Crosy, R., Sionean, C., Cobb, B. K., Harrington, K., et al. (2001). Parental monitoring: Association with adolescents' risk behaviors. Pediatrics, 107(6), 1363-1368.

Pilgrim, C. C., Schulenberg, J. E., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Johnston, L. D. (2006). Mediators and moderators of parental involvement on substance use: A national study of adolescents. Prevention Science, 7(1), 75-89.

Bronte-Tinkew, J., Moore, K. A., & Carrano, J. (2006). The father-child relationship, parenting styles, and adolescent risk behaviors in intact families. Journal of Family Issues, 27, 850-881.

Shaw, D. S., Winslow, E. B., Owens, E. B., Vondra, J. I., Cohn, J. F., & Bell, R. Q. (1998). The development of early externalizing problems among children from low-income families: A transformational perspective. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 95-107.

Stephenson, M.T. & Helme, D. W. (2006). Authoritative parenting and sensation seeking as predictors of adolescent cigarette and marijuana use. Journal of Drug Education, 36, 247-270.

Straus, M. A., & Kaufman, K. G. (1994). Corporal punishment of adolescents by parents: A risk factor in the epidemiology of depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, child abuse, and wife beating. Adolescence, 29, 543-561.