201317 Effect of parental investment on sexual concurrency among young adults in metropolitan Cape Town, South Africa

Monday, November 9, 2009

I-Heng Lee, MA, BS , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, MPhil, MA , Department of Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Charles Becker, PhD, MA , Department of Economics, Duke University, Durham, NC
Audrey Pettifor, PhD, MPH , Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina/Reproductive Health Resarch Unit (S. Africa), Chapel Hill, NC

Overlapping sexual partners have recently been cited as the driver behind the high HIV prevalence rates found in Southern Africa. Since parental influence has been shown to have an impact on the behavior of their children, this study assesses the extent to which parental investment in young adults (ages 14-22) were associated with timing of sexual partners.


Data were from two waves of the Cape Area Panel Study (2002 and 2005).

Sexual concurrency was measured in two ways: (1) Sexual calendars were constructed using responses to questions about the start month/year, and duration of sexual relationships, and (2) Responses to direct questions addressing overlapping sexual partners for their ten most recent sexual relationships.

Parental investment was measured as: (1) Time spent with young adult (spent the night under the same roof, spent time together one-on-one, ate meals together), (2) Conversations about personal matters (talked with young adult about HIV/AIDS and education), and (3) Financial support (given young adult money for school, presents or an allowance).

Probit regression models were used, with controls for individual factors (e.g. age and gender) and contextual setting (e.g. area of residence).


Young adults with parents who had spent more time with them, spoken to them about HIV/AIDS, and given them pocket money were less likely to be involved in sexual concurrency.


The results highlight the role played by parents in influencing sexual concurrency. Further research should explore the pathways in which this occurs, to help make HIV prevention campaigns more effective.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Identify the link between HIV and sexual concurrency 2. Recognize the role of parents in the risky sexual behavior of young adults 3. Explain how parental investment can affect sexual concurrency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for the design, analysis, and manuscript preparation for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.