Studies show that positive family factors help protect adolescents from engaging in risky sexual activities, but do they continue to protect adolescents as they transition to late adolescence/early adulthood? Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examined whether family support, parent-child closeness, parental control/monitoring of adolescent behaviors and parent-child communication about sex, assessed in adolescence, were related to condom use in late adolescence/early adulthood among African American (n = 1,986), Chinese American (n = 163), Mexican American (n = 1,011) and White (n = 6,971) youth. Controlling for demographic variables and number of sex partners, the results showed that family support was positively related and parent-child communication was negatively related to condom use for the sample as a whole and for the white sample, but not for the other groups. Parent-child communication about sex and parental control were negatively related to condom use in the Chinese American sample. None of the family factors was related to condom use in the African American or Mexican American samples. Overall, parents talked more with daughters than sons about sexual matters. Condom use was most common among African Americans and among males. Greater attention to cultural expectations regarding sex and gender roles, as well as the causal ordering of effects, are important directions for future research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)