The Role of Parent Religiosity in Teens’ Transitions to Sex and Contraception

Child Trends, 베서스다, Maryland, United States
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 11/2006; 39(4):578-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.03.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine whether multiple dimensions of parent and family religiosity--including parental religious attendance, denomination, beliefs, and family religious activities--are associated with the timing of sexual initiation or contraceptive use at first sex.
We analyze a sample of sexually inexperienced adolescents aged 12-14 years in the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97) to test the association between multiple dimensions of parent and family religiosity and the transition to first sexual experience and contraceptive use at first sex during the teen years. We assess the association between parent and family religiosity and the timing of adolescent sexual experience using multivariate event history models, and examine contraceptive use outcomes using logistic regressions. All analyses are conducted separately by gender and race/ethnicity.
More frequent parental religious attendance is associated with a delayed timing of first sex among all sub-populations except among black adolescents. Engaging in family religious activities on a daily basis is associated with delayed sexual initiation among male, female, and white teens. Results for contraceptive use differ, however. Only strong parental religious beliefs and more frequent participation in family religious activities are associated with contraceptive use at first sex, in a negative direction, among males.
More frequent parental religious attendance and family religious activities are related to later timing of sexual initiation, highlighting an important dimension of family environments that can help improve reproductive health outcomes for children. However, stronger family religiosity does not translate into improved contraceptive use.

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    • "In general, then, this study suggests that parents who attend religious services regularly or who identify with an orthodox religious tradition in the United States are more likely to keep tabs on their adolescents, and to be emotionally invested in their children's ability to steer clear of risky behaviors such as teen sex and drinking. However, future research is needed to determine if parents' strategies and their emotional commitments have the desired effect on their adolescents (Manlove et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Using a national sample of adolescents aged 10–18 years and their parents (N = 5,117), this article examines whether parental religious identity and religious participation are associated with the ways in which parents control their children. We hypothesize that both religious orthodoxy and weekly religious attendance are related to heightened levels of three elements of parental control: monitoring activities, normative regulations, and network closure. Results indicate that an orthodox religious identity for Catholic and Protestant parents and higher levels of religious attendance for parents as a whole are associated with increases in monitoring activities and normative regulations of American adolescents.
    Review of Religious Research 12/2014; 56(4):555-580. DOI:10.1007/s13644-014-0167-0 · 0.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Religious involvement may delay or reduce sexual activity by promoting sexual morality and embedding individuals within sexually conservative contexts [13], where informal social sanctions are regularly enforced against persons suspected of non-marital sexual activity [19]. Conversely, affiliating with a conservative religious group or movement has been associated with nonuse of contraception among adolescents [14] [17] [20], although this association is less consistent in the literature [21] [22]. In their work on virginity pledging, a movement primarily sponsored by the Southern Baptist Church, Bearman and Brückner [20] explained that pledgers were less likely to be prepared for an experience that they had promised to avoid. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose In this paper, we examine associations among personal religiosity, perceived infertility, and inconsistent contraceptive use among unmarried young adults (ages 18–29). Methods The data for this investigation came from the National Survey of Reproductive and Contraceptive Knowledge (n = 1,695). We used multinomial logistic regression to model perceived infertility, adjusted probabilities to model rationales for perceived infertility, and binary logistic regression to model inconsistent contraceptive use. Results Evangelical Protestants were more likely than non-affiliates to believe that they were infertile. Among the young women who indicated some likelihood of infertility, evangelical Protestants were also more likely than their other Protestant or non–Christian faith counterparts to believe that they were infertile because they had unprotected sex without becoming pregnant. Although evangelical Protestants were more likely to exhibit inconsistent contraception use than non-affiliates, we were unable to attribute any portion of this difference to infertility perceptions. Conclusions Whereas most studies of religion and health emphasize the salubrious role of personal religiosity, our results suggest that evangelical Protestants may be especially likely to hold misconceptions about their fertility. Because these misconceptions fail to explain higher rates of inconsistent contraception use among evangelical Protestants, additional research is needed to understand the principles and motives of this unique religious community.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 06/2014; 54(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.11.002 · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    • "Having recently been in a romantic relationship is a strong predictor of having ever engaged in sexual intercourse (Blum et al. 2000; Van Oss Marín et al. 2006). Furthermore, romantic initiation at a younger age correlates with an earlier sexual debut (Manlove et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although the relation between family relationships and the timing of sexual debut has been the focus of many studies, research on mediating factors is scarce. This study examines whether low levels of family cohesion result in an earlier onset of romantic and sexual experiences, and whether the link between family cohesion and an early sexual debut is mediated by early romantic initiation. A longitudinal sample of 314 adolescent girls and 222 boys, aged 12-17 at Wave 1, completed questionnaires at three measurement points with three year intervals. The results showed that sexual debut followed romantic initiation for 77% of the participants. For early adolescent females (aged 12-14), high levels of family cohesion resulted in a later sexual debut and this association was fully mediated by a delay of romantic initiation. Among boys and older girls, timing of romantic initiation did not mediate the link between family cohesion and timing of sexual initiation. Early adolescent girls who have negative relationships with their parents turn to romantic relationships for intimacy and support, which subsequently provide the opportunity for an early sexual debut. Low levels of family cohesion thus primarily precipitate romantic initiation and sexual initiation appears to be secondary to this process among girls in this age group.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 08/2011; 41(5):583-92. DOI:10.1007/s10964-011-9708-9 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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