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