Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 521–530

Educational correlates of adolescents' sexual attitudes and behavior


  • Brent C. Miller
    • Department of Family and Human DevelopmentUtah State University
  • Karen R. Sneesby
    • Evanston School District

DOI: 10.1007/BF01537829

Cite this article as:
Miller, B.C. & Sneesby, K.R. J Youth Adolescence (1988) 17: 521. doi:10.1007/BF01537829


Parents' educational attainment is known to be related to their children's educational aspirations and plans, and these variables have been presumed to be inversely related to early adolescent sexual activity. Relationships between these educational variables and adolescents' sexual attitudes and behavior were analyzed in a sample of 810 high school students from two Western states. Parents' educational background was positively related to adolescents' educational plans and performance, and these educational variables were inversely related to adolescents' premarital sexual attitudes and intercourse experience. It seems most plausible to conclude that parents' educational backgrounds affect children's educational interests and grades, which, in turn, affect adolescent sexuality. However, the observed associations also could be interpreted to suggest that early sexual behavior reduces adolescents' educational plans and lowers their school grades.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988