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Public Health Nurs. 2006 Jan-Feb;23(1):2-10.

Racial differences in parenting dimensions and adolescent condom use at sexual debut.

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University of south Carolina, College of Nursing, Columbia, SC 29209, USA.



Parenting style may be a determinant in reducing adolescent risk behavior. Previous studies have relied on a typological parenting approach, with classification into four groups: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglectful. In this study, two distinct parenting dimensions, demandingness and responsiveness, were examined as independent predictors of adolescent condom use.


This study used a subsample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) that included 153 adolescent-mother pairs.


Maternal demandingness and responsiveness were measured using Wave I mother interviews. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict adolescent condom use at sexual debut at Wave II and to assess moderation by gender and race.


(1) Maternal demandingness predicted increased likelihood of condom use in African American adolescents but decreased likelihood of condom use in White adolescents; (2) maternal responsiveness did not predict condom use; and (3) gender moderation was not present.


To provide appropriate family counseling, public health nurses need to consider racial differences in contraceptive practices. Education regarding parental supervision practices should be considered as part of nursing interventions intended to increase condom use in African American adolescents.

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