265455 Family and peer influences on sexual intentions among urban, low-income African-American and Hispanic females

Monday, October 29, 2012

Anamika Barman-Adhikari, MA, MSW, PhD Student , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Julie A. Cederbaum, PhD, MSW, MPH , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Purpose: Peer and family influences are interconnected in complex ways, particularly in late adolescence. Using an ecological framework, we sought to understand the influence of mothers on the sexual risk intentions of daughters, by examining how parental influence variables interact with perceptions of negative peer influence. Methods: A non-probability sample of 176 mother-daughter dyads was recruited from clinics and service organizations in Philadelphia, PA, Newark, NJ, and New York City. Here, we use demographic variables, as well measures of sexual-communication, parental-monitoring, parental values about adolescent sex, daughter's perception of peer-influence and intention to have sex. Path-analysis was used to identify if perceptions of peer-influence acted as a mediator between parental-influence and daughter's sexual-intention. Results: Parent-child relationship satisfaction (b=-.068, p< .05) and parental-monitoring (b=-.135, p < .05) were directly associated with lower perceptions of negative peer influence. While there was a positive direct relationship between perceptions of negative peer influence and intention to have sex (b=.086, p < .05), parental monitoring and parent-child relationship satisfaction buffered that risk. Implications: Family processes act as protective factors for youth. Therefore, sex education and HIV prevention programs should include opportunities for parents to learn about sex-related issues and develop skills that allow them to communicate effectively with their children. These results also highlight the need for early intervention. Youth who become mired in negative peer environments in late adolescence may become less susceptible to family influence; therefore it would be prudent to reach these youth when they are younger and rooted in their family.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the relative influence of family and peer processes on adolescent sexual-intentions. Identify the family processes that are able to buffer risks and act as protective factors for adolescents. Discuss the importance of family-based interventions in preventing sexual risk behaviors in high-risk environments.

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student focusing on sexual health among at-risk youth. Utilizing an ecological approach, my work aims to assess how family, peers, community and the society at large define the contexts within which vulnerable youth function and how these contexts help to explicate the patterns of risk behaviors that these youth engage in.
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.

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