This research brief published by Child Trends examines whether parental involvement during adolescence reduces the chances of teens being sexually active at a young age. The study found that multiple measures of parental involvement and engagement are associated with delayed sex among teens. These measures include positive parent-adolescent relationship quality, high parental awareness and monitoring, and family dinner routines.
Some interesting facts include:
- “Positive relationships with both parents in adolescence are associated with lower levels of early sexual activity among teen girls.” (Ikramullah et al., 2009, p. 3)
- “Higher levels of parent-adolescent relationship quality are associated with reduced risk of early sexual experience among teen girls, even after taking account of other background factors.” (Ikramullah et al., 2009, p. 3)
- “Adolescent girls report higher levels of parental awareness and monitoring than do adolescent boys.” (Ikramullah et al., 2009, p. 3)
- “Adolescents whose parents are more aware of whom they are with when not at home are less likely to have sex by age 16.” (Ikramullah et al., 2009, p. 5)
- “Programs designed to delay teen sexual activity and to deter other risky behaviors may benefit from including or enhancing parental involvement in their offerings.” (Ikramullah et al., 2009, p. 6)
Citation: Ikramullah, E., Manlove, J., Cui, C., Moore, K.A. (2009). Parents matter: The role of parents in teens’ decisions about sex. Child Trends Research Brief. Washington, D.C.: Child Trends., 1-7