Associations between parental media monitoring style, information management, and prosocial and aggressive behaviors
Parental monitoring of adolescent media use has been associated with decreased negative effects of media on adolescent behavior, but we know little about the explanatory mechanisms behind these associations. The current study sought to explore the links between parental media monitoring and adolescent behaviors via adolescents’ levels of media disclosure and secrecy. Participants included a national sample of 945 adolescents aged 10–18 years (49% female, 69% European American) taken from a study of adolescent media use. Results suggested that autonomy supportive active and restrictive monitoring were associated with higher levels of media disclosure and lower levels of media secrecy (active only). Controlling active and restrictive monitoring were associated with higher levels of media secrecy. In turn, media disclosure was associated with more prosocial behavior toward family, and media secrecy was associated with less prosocial behavior toward family and more relational aggression. The discussion focuses on adolescent information management (e.g., disclosure and secrecy) as an important mechanism to explain links between parental media monitoring and adolescents’ behavioral outcomes.