Purpose of review: To explore recent developments in the literature regarding parenting practices and adolescent development, with a focus on parenting style, parental monitoring, communication, and supervision.
Recent findings: There have been significant recent advances in the study of the relationship between parenting and adolescent development. Several recent intervention studies with a parenting component demonstrated immediate and long-term protective effects on adolescent risk behavior. Parent-child connectedness and authoritative parenting style are protective for teens. Parental monitoring has a protective effect on many adolescent risk behaviors in both middle-class populations and poor urban environments and has been shown both to moderate the effect of peer influence and to persist into late adolescence. Whereas unsupervised time, exposure to sexual possibility situations, and out-of-home care increase sexual behavior, improved parent-child communication reduces sexual risk behaviors.
Summary: Recent scholarship demonstrates the significant, enduring, and protective influence of positive parenting practices on adolescent development. In particular, parental monitoring, open parent-child communication, supervision, and high quality of the parent-child relationship deter involvement in high-risk behavior. Authoritative parenting generally leads to the best outcomes for teens. Clinicians should find opportunities to discuss evidence-based parenting practices with families. Future research should focus on the development and long-term evaluation of effective parenting interventions.