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Volume 6, Pages 1810-1814
Research Article

Perceived Parental Monitoring and Health Risk Behavior among Public Secondary School Students in El Salvador

1Michael and Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Houston, TX, USA
2Department of Health and Human Performance University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States
3Save the Children, San Salvador, El Salvador
4Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, México and Unidad de Investigación en Epidemiología Clínica, Hospital General No. 6 Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas, México

Received 8 November 2006; Revised 3 December 2006; Accepted 4 December 2006

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2006 Andrew E. Springer et al.


Although parental monitoring has received considerable attention in studies of U.S. adolescents, few published studies have examined how parents' knowledge of their children's whereabouts may influence health risk behaviors in adolescents living in Latin America. We investigated the association between perceived parental monitoring and substance use, fighting, and sexual behaviors in rural and urban Salvadoran adolescents (n = 982). After adjusting for several sociodemographic covariates, multilevel regression analyses indicated that students reporting low parental monitoring were between 2 to 3.5 times more likely to report risk behaviors examined. The promotion of specific parenting practices such as parental monitoring may hold promise for reducing adolescent risk behaviors in El Salvador.