Parental monitoring is considered to be important to help reduce depressive symptoms in teenagers. But recently, it’s been found that researchers have been assessing parental knowledge, rather than parental monitoring, to find out what role parenting plays in depression among teens. To better understand the impact of parental knowledge and monitoring on teens’ likelihood of having depressive symptoms, researchers surveyed 2,941 Ontario students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 from 2003 to 2008.
The survey asked the teens about their depressive symptoms and how much their parents know about their activities, how much they tell their parents about their activities, how much their parents ask them about their activities, and how restrictive their parents are.
The results show that the more a parent knows about the teen’s activities, the less likely the teen is to have depressive symptoms. Asking about their activities can increase how much a teen discloses, which along with parental restrictions, can ward off depressive symptoms.
On the other hand, the researchers also found that when a teen has depressive symptoms, it can lead the parent to monitor less and ask fewer questions about their activities.
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