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Adolescence. 2005 Winter;40(160):777-91.

Family functioning and early onset of sexual intercourse in Latino adolescents.

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Clinical Psychology Ph.D Program, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR.


The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with early onset of sexual intercourse. Within an ecological system's conceptual framework, familial factors associated with early onset of sexual activity were identified in a sample of 425 adolescents from San Juan metro area schools. Measures included questions about sexual activity, sexual permissiveness, and such familial variables as: discipline, parental supervision, and parental support. Significant relationships were observed between early onset of sexual intercourse and parental supervision, discipline, parental support, and parents' marital status. Results suggest the key role of parents and family in prevention of HIV-risk behaviors among adolescents in terms of delaying sexual onset. Overall, the study described youths who postponed sexual activity as having greater support, supervision, and parental involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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