Preventing Juvenile Sexual Offending through Parental Monitoring: A Comparison Study of Youth's Experiences of Supervision

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Journal of Sexual Aggression

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The parental monitoring literature has long observed a link between parental monitoring and juvenile antisocial behaviour. This study extends this line of research to juveniles who commit sexual abuse. The present study investigates whether juvenile reports of parental monitoring differ between juvenile sexual offenders (n = 338), juvenile delinquents (n = 346), and non-incarcerated juvenile controls (n = 256). Results indicate that both incarcerated groups reported significantly less parental knowledge compared to juvenile controls. Further, both juvenile sexual offenders and juvenile controls reported significantly more parental control compared to juvenile delinquents. With regard to parental solicitation, the results were mixed for sexual offenders. They reported high levels of solicitation for some items (e.g. what the youth was doing, who they were with), and lower levels for other items (e.g. where the youth was, whether an adult would be present). When repeating these analyses with the exclusion of non-parent caregivers, a similar pattern of results emerged; however, item-level analyses revealed that parents of juvenile delinquents reported certain types of solicitation and control behaviours more frequently (e.g. asked where the youth was going, made sure the rules were followed) compared to findings from the main sample. Potential explanations for these findings as well as practical implications for prevention are discussed.



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