Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Margaret Glenn.


Adolescents living in low socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as alcohol and other drug use, sexual behavior, and vandalism. Resiliency theory suggests that protective factors could reduce adolescent risk-taking in low SES families. Parental monitoring, parent behaviors involved in tracking their adolescents' whereabouts and activities, tends to be less evident in low SES families. However, it has also been identified as a protective factor in fostering resiliency in adolescents living in high-risk situations. The current study examined group differences in parental knowledge, parental monitoring strategies, and adolescent risk-taking based on two socioeconomic factors, parental income and parental marital status. Furthermore, it evaluated the group differences in adolescent risk-taking based on the type of parental monitoring strategy utilized. This study surveyed 526 parent/adolescent dyads throughout various counties in the state of West Virginia. A final sample of 518 participant dyads were included in the study. Data analyses revealed no significant differences in adolescent risk-taking or parental knowledge based on family income and parental marital status. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the use of direct, indirect, or restrictive parental monitoring strategies based on family income and parental marital status; however, there was a statistically significant interaction effect. Finally, an exploratory analysis was conducted to examine group differences in adolescent risk-taking based on the use of each parental monitoring strategy and significant group differences emerged. Clinical implications and limitations were discussed as well as suggestions for future research.