Investigating the Potential Causal Relationship Between Parental Knowledge and Youth Risky Behavior: a Propensity Score Analysis

Melissa A. Lippold, Donna L. Coffman, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study aims to explore the potential causal relationship between parental knowledge and youth risky behavior among a sample of rural, early adolescents (84 % White, 47 % male). Using inverse propensity weighting, the sample was adjusted by controlling for 33 potential confounding variables. Confounding variables include other aspects of the parent–child relationship, parental monitoring, demographic variables, and earlier levels of problem behavior. The effect of parental knowledge was significant for youth substance and polysubstance use initiation, alcohol and cigarette use, attitudes towards substance use, and delinquency. Our results suggest that parental knowledge may be causally related to substance use during middle school, as the relationship between knowledge and youth outcomes remained after controlling for 33 different confounding variables. The discussion focuses on understanding issues of causality in parenting and intervention implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-878
Number of pages10
JournalPrevention Science
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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