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J Adolesc Health. 2003 Aug;33(2):71-8.

Examining the relationship between adolescent sexual risk-taking and perceptions of monitoring, communication, and parenting styles.

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Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Falls Church, Virginia, USA.



To examine the relationship between adolescent sexual risk-taking and perception of parental monitoring, frequency of parent-adolescent communication, and parenting style. The influences of gender, age, and ethnicity are also of interest.


Data were collected from 7th-12th grade students in six rural, ethnically diverse school located in adjacent counties in a Southeastern state. A 174-item instrument assessed adolescent perceptions, behaviors and attitudes. Youth who had engaged in sexual intercourse (n = 1160) were included in the analyses. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify parenting practices that predicted high versus low-risk sex (defined by number of partners and use of condoms). Variables included parental monitoring, parent-adolescent communication, parenting style, parenting process interaction effects and interaction effects among these three parenting processes and gender, age and ethnicity. Analyses included frequencies, cross-tabulations and logistic regression.


Parental monitoring, parental monitoring by parent-adolescent communication and parenting style by ethnicity were significant predictors of sexual risk-taking. No gender or age interactions were noted.


Parental monitoring, parent-adolescent communication and parenting style are all important variables to consider when examining sexual risk-taking among adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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