Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fathers Respond To Teens' Risky Sexual Behavior With Increased Supervision

Date:
May 21, 2009
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Findings from a study following more than 3,200 teenagers over a period of four years show that fathers react differently than mothers to their children's sexual behavior. When teens engaged in risky sexual behavior, instead of parents becoming less involved, as previously seen, fathers actually boosted their involvement, learning more about their children's friends and activities. This study also identified involvement in family activities as a protective force.

Two-thirds of American teenagers have sex by the time they're 18. A new longitudinal study finds that when adolescents engage in risky sexual activity, fathers respond by increasing their efforts to supervise and monitor their children.

Related Articles


Researchers at Boston College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Harvard University conducted the study.

The study followed more than 3,200 teenagers ages 13 to 18 over a period of four years. The teens were a subset of participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a representative sample of American adolescents. Each year, the teens reported on their parents' knowledge of their activities, friends, and so forth. Starting at age 14, the teens also answered questions about their engagement in risky sexual activities, including frequency of intercourse, number of partners, and incidences of unprotected intercourse.

The study suggests that fathers react differently than mothers to their children's sexual behavior. When teens engaged in risky sexual behavior, instead of parents becoming less involved, as previously seen, fathers boosted their involvement, learning more about their children's friends and activities. This finding contradicts previous research, which has found that parents react with hostility and are less engaged following such discoveries.

This study also identified involvement in family activities as a protective force. Specifically, it found that teens who took part in routine family activities like eating meals together or joining in fun projects were less likely to engage in risky sexual activity, and teens who didn't engage in risky sexual behavior were more likely to participate in family activities.

"This research highlights the complex interplay of relationships between parents and their adolescent children," according to Rebekah Levine Coley, associate professor of applied developmental and educational psychology at Boston College and the study's lead author. "Given the notably negative potential repercussions of risky sexual activity during adolescence, this study can inform efforts to increase parents' oversight of and active engagement with their teenage children."

The study was funded, in part, by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Coley, RL et al. Fathers' and Mothers' Parenting Predicting and Responding to Adolescent Sexual Risk Behaviors. Child Development, Vol. 80, Issue 3

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Fathers Respond To Teens' Risky Sexual Behavior With Increased Supervision." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515083700.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2009, May 21). Fathers Respond To Teens' Risky Sexual Behavior With Increased Supervision. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515083700.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Fathers Respond To Teens' Risky Sexual Behavior With Increased Supervision." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090515083700.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins