Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 719–731 | Cite as

Risky Sexual Behaviors in First and Second Generation Hispanic Immigrant Youth

  • Elizabeth Trejos-CastilloEmail author
  • Alexander T. Vazsonyi
Empirical Research


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 



This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexander T. Vazsonyi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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