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Parental Monitoring Keeps Teens from Using Marijuana

posted 10:39 PM EST, Mon November 23, 2009
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Parental Monitoring Keeps Teens from Using Marijuana © Photo Credit: Splifr

Researchers say that knowing where your kids are, who they’re with and what they’re up to is the best way to keep them from experimenting with marijuana.

Parental monitoring – knowing where your kids are and what they’re up to most of the time - has been proven an effective strategy in keeping teens from negative behaviors, such as sexual activity, gambling and substance abuse.

It’s an effective parenting strategy in keeping teens from harmful behaviors, but research psychologists Andrew Lac and William Crano at Claremont Graduate University wanted to know exactly how well parental monitoring worked in preventing teens from using marijuana.

42% of high school seniors admit to having used marijuana.

To find out, Lac and Crano combed through research data from 17 studies involving more than 35 000 participants. Each of the studies chosen had:

  • Teen subjects
  • Focused primarily on marijuana usage
  • Teens rate their parents’ degree of monitoring

The researchers then used a statistical analysis to draw conclusions.

The Results

The researchers found that parental monitoring does effectively reduce marijuana use, particularly amongst teen girls.

In summing up the significance of their data, the authors write, “Our review suggests that parents are far from irrelevant, even when it comes to an illegal and often secretive behavior on the part of their children.”

The full study results can be read in the November issue of Perspectives of Psychological Science.

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