Predictors of Premarital Sex
In this chapter, we evaluate correlates of teen sexual behavior, primarily from the perspective of communication variables. We begin by discussing the correspondence between teen self reports of sexual activity and parental perceptions of whether their teen has engaged in sexual intercourse. We then consider the role of parental discussion and parental orientations toward premarital sex in predicting teen sexual behavior. We show that parental orientations are indeed relevant to the sexual behavior of teenagers and that ignoring this variable may, in part, explain some of the low correlations in previous research. We then consider more general communication variables and their impact on teenage sexual behavior. Finally, we consider more distal family predictors, including the family relations and parenting practices.
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