Empirical Research

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 719-731

First online:

Risky Sexual Behaviors in First and Second Generation Hispanic Immigrant Youth

  • Elizabeth Trejos-CastilloAffiliated withDepartment of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University Email author 
  • , Alexander T. VazsonyiAffiliated withDepartment of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University

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Though official data document that Hispanic youth are at a great risk for early sexual intercourse, STDs, and teen pregnancy, only few etiological studies have been conducted on Hispanic youth; almost no work has examined potential generational differences in these behaviors, and thus, these behaviors may have been mistakenly attributed to cultural differences. The current study examined the relationships between maternal parenting (general communication, communication about sex, monitoring, support) and risky sexual behaviors, and potential moderating effects by immigration status and acculturation in 1st and 2nd generation Hispanic immigrant adolescents (N = 2,016) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves I and II). Maternal communication about sex and maternal support emerged as key predictors of risky sexual behaviors across generational groups; neither immigration status nor acculturation moderated the maternal parenting constructs-risky sexual behaviors links. Furthermore, maternal parenting constructs and their relationships with risky sexual behaviors did not differ by generational groups.


Latino immigrant youth Family processes Acculturation Sexual behavior Generational groups