Respondents reported on ten items derived from Conger, Ge, Elder, Lorenz, and Simons and Steinberg, Dornbusch, and Brown to assess parental monitoring. The first five items captured how much the parent tries to gain knowledge about different activities in which the child participates (i.e., with whom the child spends time, how the child spends his/her free time, how the child spends his/her money, where the child goes right after school, and the type of homework the child receives). The three possible responses included: I do not try (coded as 0), I try a little (coded as 1), and I try a lot (coded as 2). The last five items captured the frequency with which the parent imposes limits on the child’s activities (i.e., with whom the child spends time, how the child spends his/her free time, how the child spends his/her money, where the child goes right after school, and homework). The four possible responses ranged from never (coded as 0) to always (coded as 3). For each reporter, these items were standardized, and a parental monitoring scale was created by averaging across the standardized items. Several studies have measured parental monitoring validly and reliably in this way, including measures of both awareness/supervision and attempts to limit child behavior.
Conger, R.D., Ge, X., Elder, G.H., Lorenz, F.O., & Simons, R.L. (1994). Economic stress, coercive family processes, and developmental problems of adolescents. Child Development, 65, 541-561.
Steinberg, L., Dornbusch, S., & Brown, B. (1992). Ethnic differences in adolescent achievement: An ecological perspective. American Psychologist, 47, 723-729.