Disentangling the links from parental monitoring and delinquent peer exposure to youth delinquency : a longitudinal, sibling comparison analysis

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Jackson Goodnight


Research suggests that parents and peers play an integral role in the development and prevention of antisocial behaviors (AB) like conduct problems and delinquency in youth. However, the magnitude and mechanisms of these influences have been a debated topic in the field. Consequently, it is crucial to understand how these two factors work together to influence the development of antisocial behavior. Using data from the mothers of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and their offspring, a longitudinal, sibling comparison design was used to examine if: (1) parental monitoring moderates the relationship between the child's early delinquency and subsequent deviant peer exposure (DPE), such that the influence of early delinquency on DPE will be smaller at high levels of parental monitoring and vice versa, (2) parental monitoring has an indirect effect against delinquency via its intermediate effects (mediation) against DPE, (3) baseline delinquency has an indirect effect on later, youth delinquency, vial its intermediate effects (mediation) on DPE, and (4) parental monitoring moderates the influence of DPE on later youth delinquency such that the influence of DPE will be smaller at high levels of parental monitoring, and will be larger at low levels of monitoring. Population analyses indicated that delinquency predicted increased DPE, and DPE mediated the association between early and later delinquency. In addition, DPE and parental monitoring significantly predicted later delinquency. Sibling comparison analysis revealed a significant interaction between parental monitoring and delinquency in predicting DPE, such that the association between early delinquency and later DPE was attenuated at high levels of parental monitoring. In addition, DPE significantly mediated the association between early and later delinquency in the sibling comparison analyses. The present findings provide support for an environmentally mediated effect of DPE and suggest that parental monitoring may act to suppress the link from earlier delinquency to later DPE.


Psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology, Criminology, parental monitoring, peer delinquency, youth delinquency, genetically informative, longitudinal

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Copyright © 2021, author.