Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Terri Sullivan


The prevalence of aggression and delinquency increase during adolescence and are associated with psychosocial adjustment difficulties. It is important to identify aspects of the parent-adolescent relationship that may protect adolescents from these externalizing behaviors. The current study examined longitudinal relations between parental monitoring behaviors, child disclosure, and externalizing behaviors. Participants included 326 African American adolescents and their primary maternal caregivers, recruited from urban neighborhoods characterized by high rates of violence and low socioeconomic status. Participants provided data annually (three waves across two-year timeframe) through face-to-face interviews. Results of longitudinal path models showed that child disclosure predicted parental knowledge, and parental knowledge was associated with fewer externalizing outcomes. Higher levels of parental control predicted less child disclosure. Finally, parental acceptance predicted fewer child-reported delinquent behaviors through increased levels of child disclosure. Implications suggest that parent-adolescent communication and parental acceptance are protective factors, associated with decreased externalizing outcomes in African American youth.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2014

Included in

Psychology Commons