Variations in Parental Monitoring and Predictions of Adolescent Prescription Opioid and Stimulant Misuse

Addict Behav. 2015 Jun;45:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.01.022. Epub 2015 Jan 19.


Objective: This study examined relations between adolescents' family structures, social ties, and drug-related attitudes, and their misuse of prescription opioids and stimulants. Different relationships were anticipated for the substances based on prior research highlighting varying motivations for their use.

Method: Based on an earlier model of adolescent substance misuse, two path analytic models were tested using data from 12 to 17 year olds in the 2012 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH: N=17,399).

Results: Female respondents reported higher levels of parental warmth, as did youth from wealthier families. Greater parental monitoring was reported by adolescents from wealthier and intact families. Parental monitoring and warmth predicted adolescents' social ties and individual differences associated with drug use, and both variables predicted prescription opioid and stimulant misuse. Contrary to previous research, for adolescents aged 12 to 14, high levels of parental monitoring, while positively associated with attitudes and social ties, also predicted higher rates of prescription stimulant misuse when combined with low levels of parental warmth. Results were cross-validated with data from the 2011 NSDUH.

Conclusions: Analyses highlighted the importance of understanding and differentiating the underlying factors associated with adolescent prescription stimulant and opioid misuse, and the role of parental behaviors in prevention.

Keywords: Adolescents; Nonmedical use; Opioids; Parental monitoring; Parental warmth; Stimulants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Age Factors
  • Analgesics, Opioid*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Peer Group
  • Prescription Drug Misuse / psychology
  • Prescription Drug Misuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Social Norms
  • Social Support
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants