The Effects of Parental Monitoring and Communication on Adolescent Substance Use and Risky Sexual Activity: A Systematic Review

Jill Ryan1, Nicolette V. Roman*, 1, Auma Okwany2
1 Department of Social Work, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, 7353, South Africa
2 International Institute of Social Studies, Kortenaerkade 12, 2518AX, The Hague, The Netherlands

© 2015 Ryan et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distributin, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Social Work,Private Bag x17 Bellville University of the Western Cape, Cape Town,7353, South Africa; Tel: 27(21)9592011; E-mail:


Aim: The aim of the systematic study was to determine the effect of parenting practices on adolescent risk behaviours such as substance use and sexual risk behaviour.

Method: Quantitative research studies were systematically collected from various databases such as Academic Search Complete, MEDLINE (Pubmed), JSTOR, Project Muse and SAGE for the duration of 2003-2013 which was within the 10 year period of relevant literature to the date of study.

Results: Findings established that parental monitoring and communication prevented drug initiation, delayed alcohol initiation, and sexual debut, increased alcohol refusal efficacy, and decreased delinquent behaviour and risk taking behaviours in high risk adolescents.

Conclusion: This review shows that parental practices play significant protective and promotive roles in managing adolescent risk behaviours.

Keywords: Adolescence, parental communication, parental monitoring, risky sexual activity, substance abuse.