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Paternal Monitoring: The Relationship between Online and In-Person Solicitation and Youth Outcomes

Paternal Monitoring: The Relationship between Online and In-Person Solicitation and Youth Outcomes (Hessel et al., 2016).

The purpose of the research was to explore the relationships between fathers’ online and in-person solicitation of their adolescent and emerging adult children, and the youth’s internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors. On development, the authors intend to address three main questions that appear as gaps in previous literature. Firstly, what can we learn from paternal solicitation and demographic differences in father-youth solicitation? Secondly, what is the difference between solicitation conducted in-person and via technology? Finally, what are the links between different methods of solicitation and negative and prosocial youth behaviors?

The results showed significant differences emanating from variables such as income and race. For instance, fathers of Color reported greater use of youth’s friends and friends’ parents than White fathers. Online solicitation was shown to decrease control and prosocial behaviors while increasing internalizing and externalizing behaviors. In-person solicitation had a positive correlation with control and prosocial behavior and a negative correlation with internalizing and externalizing behaviors. The research indicated that there is a positive relationship between parental involvements with positive youth outcomes. Fathers’ online solicitation increases their adolescent’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors while reducing prosocial behavior.

The research explains the benefits of using in-person solicitation as a better alternative to technology because it reduces internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Additionally, the results further discuss the significance of paternal monitoring. Lastly, the research gives insight into the consequences of the media used to solicit information from adolescent and emerging adult children, especially by understanding that some online environments may get interpreted differently than in-person methods.

My concern with this research is the reliability of the survey results given the lack of randomness in the sample selection. It would be reasonable to consider selecting samples from different states or backgrounds, for instance, by making sure each state has at least a representative. Additionally, it would have been better to have a survey that does not give a reward upon completion to eradicate respondents who were possibly pursuing the participation reward rather than give helpful responses.

Understanding the importance of paternal monitoring could be crucial in advising fathers to increase their engagement with their children or adolescents. There is a need to understand what works and what doesn’t work in parental monitoring is vital in society. Eliminating methods shown to cause unfavorable outcomes on children and adolescents could be helpful in parenting. Additionally, the benefits of using technology to monitor adolescents could be a better alternative for those separated from their parents.


Hessel, H., He, Y., & Dworkin, J. (2016). Paternal monitoring: The relationship between online and in-person solicitation and youth outcomes. Journal of Youth and Adolescence46(2), 288-299. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0490-6

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