Indicators of Child, Family, and Community Connections. Parental awareness of adolescents' friends and activities

08/01/2004

Mothers are more likely than fathers to be aware of their adolescents' close friends, as well as their activities, regardless of family structure. Data for 2000 indicate that mothers were slightly more likely to be aware of their adolescent's friends and activities when they resided with the biological father of the child (57 percent) than when they were the sole biological parent, or part of a biological parent/nonbiological parent couple (51 percent each). Fathers in either two-parent or one-parent biological families had higher levels of awareness (31 percent) than did fathers who were part of a one biological and one nonbiological parent couple (20 percent). Note that for single parents, awareness is measured among a different group of children for the mother than for the father. For these families, differences in outcomes between mothers and fathers could be due to characteristics of the parents, or characteristics of the children that live with them. Also note that for biological/other parent families, a greater share of biological parents are mothers and a greater share of other parents are fathers.

Percentage of adolescents who report that their parents are aware of
their friends and activities, by family structure: 2000

Percentage of adolescents who report that their parents are aware of their friends and activities, by family structure: 2000. See text for explanation.

Note: For this indicator, parental awareness is measured by the adolescent's report of the degree to which their parents know "some" or "most" things about their close friends, close friends' parents, company when not at home, and teachers and school activities. Adolescents are reporting on parents and parent figures who live with the adolescent.
Source: Child Trends' analyses of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997, Rounds 1 and 4.

  Mother Father
Table 6.
Table 6. Percentage of adolescents who report that their parents are aware of
their friends and activities, by gender and selected characteristics:(a) 2000
Total 55.0 29.2
Race and Hispanic Origin(b)
  White, non-Hispanic 56.0 29.4
  Black, non-Hispanic 55.6 27.0
  Hispanic 53.2 32.4
  Other 42.9 23.7
Family Structure
  Two biological parents 57.3 31.2
  Two parents (biological and other)(c) 51.4 19.5
  One biological parent 51.5 30.9
Parental Education(d)
  Less than high school degree 51.5 29.2
  High school degree 55.0 28.9
  Some college 55.6 29.4
  College graduate 55.5 29.3
a. Awareness is measured as a score of 10 or greater on a parental awareness and monitoring scale of 0-16. This score corresponds roughly to a youth report of the parent knowing "some" to "most" things about the youth's (a) close friends, (b) close friends' parents, (c) company when not at home, and (d) teachers and school activities.
b. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
c. This includes families with one biological parent and one nonbiological parent figure in the household. This resident nonbiological parent figure can be a step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, spouse or romantic partner of the biological parent, or a relative or other adult who is "like a parent" to the respondent. A greater share of biological parents are mothers and a greater share of other parents are fathers.
d. In two-parent households, "parental education" refers to the highest level of education attained between the two residential parents/parent figures.
Note: Analyses are based on a universe of adolescents, aged 12-14, who lived with a mother or mother figure, or father or father figure in 2000. For single parents, awareness is measured among a different group of children for the mother than for the father. For these families, differences in outcomes between mothers and fathers could be due to characteristics of the parents, or characteristics of the children that live with them.
Source: Child Trends' analyses of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997, Rounds 1 and 4.

 

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