The Influence of Parental Support, Depressed Affect, and Peers on the Sexual Behaviors of Adolescent Girls

Les B. Whitbeck, Rand D. Conger, Meei Ying Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using logitudinal data from self-reports and observer ratings of family interaction regarding 76 adolescent girls and their parents, this research investigated the effects of parental warmth and supportiveness on adolescents' depressed affect, attitudes about sexuality, peer influence, and sexual experience. The results indicated that girls with more emotionally distant parents were more likely to manifest symptoms of depression. Depressed affect, in turn, was associated with sexually permissive attitudes and having sexually active friends. Although there was a weak direct effect of Time 1 depressed affect on Time 2 sexual experience, the predominant influence on adolescent girls' sexual activity at Year 2 was their perception that their friends were sexually active during the previous year. The authors concluded that the effects of peer influence were due, in part, to the influence of the emotional climate of the girls' families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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