Effects of Parental Monitoring and Knowledge on Substance Use and HIV Risk Behaviors Among Young Men Who have Sex with Men: Results from Three Studies
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Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS and have elevated rates of substance use. Parenting practices, such as knowledge of child whereabouts and monitoring of behavioral rules, protect against these outcomes among heterosexual youth. This article examined the relationship between these parenting practices and substance use and HIV risk behaviors among YMSM. Data are reported from three similar studies of YMSM: ChiGuys (ages 14–18), Crew 450 (ages 16–22), and RADAR (ages 16–29). The ChiGuys and RADAR studies report cross-sectional analyses, whereas Crew 450 reports latent growth curve analyses. In ChiGuys and Crew 450, participants reported significantly higher scores for parental knowledge of general activities than parental knowledge of gay-specific activities. Parental knowledge of general activities was significantly associated with less binge drinking in both samples and with condomless sex in the ChiGuys sample. Parental monitoring was significantly associated with less marijuana use and condomless sex in younger RADAR participants (16–18 years) and with less drug use in older participants (>18 years). Findings support the need for further research on the influences of parents on YMSM health risk behaviors and the value of exploring family- and parent-interventions to address YMSM health.
KeywordsGay Bisexual Adolescent Alcohol Marijuana
We acknowledge the grant funding that supported the studies described in this manuscript: Crew 450 (National Institute on Drug Abuse, R01DA025548), ChiGuys (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Chicago Department of Public Health), and RADAR (National Institute on Drug Abuse, U01DA036939). We acknowledge the NIH supported Third Coast Center for AIDS Research for creating a supportive environment for HIV/AIDS research (P30AI117943). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funders. Dr. Robert Garofalo was a multiple PI with Dr. Mustanski on Crew 450, and we thank him and his team for their involvement in that project. We thank the participants for sharing their experiences with us.
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA025548 & U01DA036939), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Chicago Department of Public Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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