Individual and Family Correlates of Adolescents' Sexual Behavior: Multiethnic Findings

By Anagurthi, Claudia; Johnson, Ashley Cahill et al. | Michigan Journal of Counseling, Fall-Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

Individual and Family Correlates of Adolescents' Sexual Behavior: Multiethnic Findings


Anagurthi, Claudia, Johnson, Ashley Cahill, Somers, Cheryl L., Michigan Journal of Counseling


Correlates of Adolescents' Sexual Behavior: Multiethnic Findings

Adolescence is a time of exploration of one's own limits. Currently many teenagers discover their own boundaries through risky sexual behaviors. The price for early onset of sexual activity is high; each year over one Million teenagers become pregnant and over four million receive the diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006). Additionally, those adolescents that have been victims of sexual abuse are at greater risk of these problems and others, including anxiety and depression (for review, see Saewyc, Pettingell, & Magee, 2003). HIV diagnosis due to sexual contact is reported as early as age 13 among teenagers in the USA, with the highest prevalence rates among ethnic minorities such as Hispanics and African Americans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). Only 50% of teen mothers receive their high school diploma by age 22 (Perper, Peterson, & Manlove, 2010), making pregnancy a significant contributor to high school dropout. The purpose of this study was to examine the contributions of potential individual and family correlates to risky sexual behaviors with a multiethnic sample, while considering the role of both parents separately. Specifically, the researchers looked at the relations between sexual attitudes, sexual behaviors, dating patterns, family composition, clarity of long-term goals, parental views, religious beliefs, and timing of education on sexual intercourse. For the current study, the frequency of sexual intercourse and age of first sexual intercourse were selected as the sexual behaviors of interest.

Impact of Parental Communication on Adolescents' Sexual Health Values by Race and Gender

Most adolescents report that their main sources of sex education are their parents (Lefkowitz, Sigman, & Au, 2000; Ream & Savin-Williams, 2005). Amount and quality of family discussions are positively correlated with teenagers' conservative attitudes toward sex (Fiese et al., 2002), although other studiesstress the interactional nature of the relations (Coley, Drzal, & Schindler, (2009). For example, adolescents were shown to communicate about sexuality more when they had positive relationships, as well as a higher frequency of shared activities, with their parents (Muller, Frisco, & Pearson,2006). Wyckoff et al. (2008) showed that teenagers with parents who communicated openly about sex were more likely to have fewer sex partners, use contraception, and postpone their sexual debut. Others have found very small relations between parent-adolescent sexual communication and adolescent sexual behavior (Somers & Vollmar, 2006).

Variations in communication style and the resulting values adolescents may hold about their sexual health behaviors have been found by race and gender, although the research is sparse in this specific domain and often examines mother-daughter communication only. For example, Dittus, Jaccard, and Gordon (1999) found that African-American teenagers held values similar to their mothers' views. Additionally, Somers and Fahlman (2001) found that Caucasians communicated in the least direct manner compared to other ethnic groups, while Hispanic-American parents are more direct in communicating their values to their sons and daughters (Somers & Fahlman, 2001). Wyckoff et al. (2008) indicated that both females and males communicate about sex with their mothers more than their fathers even though boys do so more with their fathers than do girls. At the same time, teens who communicated more with mothers held the most conservative values (Dilorio, Kelley, & Hockenberry Eaton, 1999). Another study revealed that mothers' communications are more associated with daughters' than sons' outcomes (Ballard & Morris, 1998); however, other studies have found fathers to have a stronger role in teenagers' sexual activity than previously thought (Ohalete, 2007; Moore & Chase-Lansdale, 2001). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Individual and Family Correlates of Adolescents' Sexual Behavior: Multiethnic Findings
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.