, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 783-794
Date: 22 Jul 2006

Longitudinal Association Between Parenting Practices and Early Sexual Risk Behaviors among Urban African American Adolescents: The Moderating Role of Gender

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A sample of 274 African American families, living in impoverished neighborhoods with high HIV rates, participated in a longitudinal study of adolescent sexual development when children were in the 4th or 5th grade. Self-report and observational measures of parental warmth and parental behavioral control were collected from adolescents and parents at Time 1, and youth reported if they had initiated intercourse at Times 1 and 2. Regression analyses suggested that gender moderated associations between parental behavioral control and engagement in adolescent sexual behaviors. More generally, findings suggested that boys reared in low control/high warmth (i.e., permissive) homes and girls reared in high control/low warmth (i.e., authoritarian) homes were particularly at risk for early sexual behaviors. Clinical implications and directions for the future research are discussed.
Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago. Received her B.S. in Psychology and African & African American Studies from Duke University and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Her major research interests include the role of family and mental health factors in HIV risk exposure among urban African American adolescents.
Professor, Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago. Received his Ph.D. in 1987 from Virginia Commonwealth University. His major research interests are family relations during adolescence, physical disabilities, pediatric psychology, developmental psychopathology, and statistical applications in psychology
Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois, Chicago. Received her PhD in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota in 1987. Her current research interests include developmental transitions during adolescence, as well as from pre-school to middle childhood, among typically developing children as well as children with special needs