Date of Conferral







Charlton Coles


Deviant adolescent behavior is a social crisis in the United States, estimated at an annual cost of over $4 billion; yet there are gaps in the research on parental influences regarding this behavior. In this study, the principles of social learning theory were used to examine the relationships between parental supervision and deviant adolescent behavior as moderated by self-control and socioeconomic status. The population for this quantitative study consisted of 87 parent volunteers who completed surveys measuring parent supervision, child executive functioning, and delinquent behavior as well as demographic information such as socioeconomic status. Multiple Regression/Correlation was used to examine the relations between variables. There was a significant negative predictive relationship between high levels of parental supervision and deviant adolescent behavior, indicating that the more an adult was available the less deviant behavior was exhibited. In addition, self-control was a significant negative moderator between parental supervision and deviant adolescent behavior, which suggests that certain “child effects” also influence this relationship. Overall, the findings supported social learning theory, which maintains that parents are a primary factor in the conforming and/or nonconforming tendencies in adolescents and identified bidirectional effects in the relationship between parental supervision and deviant adolescent behaviors. Additional research is needed to offer more specificity on the processes that underlie these parent and child relationships, to develop interventions and supports for families, schools, and communities, and to encourage positive social change.