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Supporting Research

Relationship between parenting and risk-taking behavior

Parents influence adolescent behavior by providing structure and support for their children and by playing a key role in promoting family health and well being.

  • Parents monitoring social activities has been associated with better overall psychosocial adjustment among adolescents (Baumrind, 1991), which is an important predictor of sexual activity beginning at a later age (Tubman, Windle, & Windle, 1996), less frequent sexual behavior (Romer et al. 1994), fewer sexual partners (Miller, Forehand, & Kotchick, 1999; Rodgers, 1999), and more consistent use of contraception (Luster & Small, 1994)
  • Teens who perceive their parents as supportive and involved and who are more satisfied with their relationship with their parents tend to engage in less sexual risk behaviors (Dittus & Jaccard, 2000; Luster & Small, 1994; Scaramella, Conger, Simons, & Whitbeck, 1998)
  • Teens who report positive and supportive relationships with their parents also report having fewer sexual partners and using condoms more consistently (Miller, Forehand, & Kotchick, 1999)
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Parents Matter

Research indicates that parents play an important role in adolescent sexual risk reduction.


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