Send to

Choose Destination
Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2005 Mar;37(1):25-31.

Youth assets and sexual risk behavior: the importance of assets for youth residing in one-parent households.

Author information

Department of Health Promotion Sciences, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.



Youth assets are associated with a reduction in sexual risk behavior; however, little is known about this association among youth at high risk of engaging in unsafe behavior, such as those in one-parent households.


In-home interviews were used to collect data from 1,253 inner-city teenagers and their parents. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted separately for youth from one- and two-parent households to assess relationships between youth assets and four behaviors related to sexual risk: never having had sexual intercourse, not being currently sexually active, having delayed intercourse until age 17, and having used birth control at last intercourse.


Among youth living in one-parent households, those with the aspirations for the future, good health practices (exercise/nutrition), peer role models and family communication assets had significantly elevated odds of reporting one of the behaviors examined (odds ratios, 1.8-7.3). The peer role models asset also interacted with parental education to significantly predict an absence of current sexual activity for youth in one-parent households (21.2). Among youth living in two-parent households, community involvement was linked to increased odds of never having had sex (1.9), but no other significant relationships were found. Youths' total number of assets significantly predicted three of the four behaviors among youth in one-parent households (1.2-1.8), but predicted only sexual inexperience among those in two-parent households (1.4).


Future research should more fully investigate the role of family structure in relationships between youth assets and risk behaviors. Certain youth assets may be particularly effective in reducing sexual risk behavior among youth in one-parent households.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Alan Guttmacher Institute
Loading ...
Support Center