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J Fam Psychol. 2005 Jun;19(2):171-9.

Reciprocal associations between adolescent sexual activity and quality of youth-parent interactions.

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  • 1Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-4401, USA.


The authors examined differences in adolescents' relationships with their parents before and after adolescent first sexual activity. Participants were 13,570 members of the core sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health) Waves 1 and 2. Path analyses examined changes in parent-adolescent closeness, shared activities, and problem-focused interactions associated with changes in sexual activity separately for sons and daughters and for mothers and fathers. Race, religion, age, urbanicity, and parents' education were controls. Results confirm that increased problem-focused interactions and decreased parental closeness and shared activities both precede and follow adolescent sexual activity. Maintaining positive parental relations after adolescent first sexual activity is discussed as a means to reduce risks associated with sex.

2005 APA, all rights reserved

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