Publication date: May–June 2019
Source: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Volume 62
Author(s): Barbara A. Morrongiello, Sharon Hou, Amanda Cox
This study examined parents’ knowledge about their pre-adolescent children (where they are, who they are with, what they are doing), sources of knowledge, their safety practices, and children’s injury history scores. The 92 parent-child dyads (9–13 years) independently completed questionnaires. Results revealed that parental knowledge was obtained primarily through targeted questioning of the child, with direct control strategies (supervision, requiring the child to check in) and clandestine strategies (snooping) also used sometimes. Parents had poorest knowledge of children’s activities, and this was associated with children’s frequency of medically-attended injuries. Children who engaged in greater risk taking and kept more secrets experienced more medically-attended injuries. For children who experienced more injuries, parents implemented more control strategies limiting freedom. To keep pre-adolescents safe, parents used predominantly teaching strategies, though these were not associated with fewer injuries. Active monitoring predicted fewer medically-attended injuries. Findings did not vary with child age or gender.