The parental relationship and adolescent female risky sexual behavior at first sex and later
How, when, and what parents talk about with their adolescents regarding risky sexual behavior has been heavily researched (Aspy et al., 2007; Flores & Barroso, 2017; Longmore et al., 2009; Miller, 2002; Somers & Surmann, 2004; Widman et al., 2016). Little is known about the influence that perceived parental attachment and shared activities have on a female’s sexual behavior at the time of first sex and sexual behavior in adulthood. This study examined adolescent female’s sexual decisions at first sex, in particular, risky sexual behavior, and the influence that the female’s perceived parental attachment and shared activities may have on her decisions at first sex and into adulthood. This study used data from Wave I and Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) (Harris & Udry, 2008). Participants totaled 950 heterosexual female adolescents (White 67.6%, Black, 32.4%) and averaged almost 17 years of age at Wave I and almost 31 years of age at Wave IV. Results showed that higher levels of father-daughter attachment and activities shared together in adolescence were related to protective factors for the daughter in adulthood while a higher level of attachment to father in adolescence increased the likelihood of the daughter using alcohol and/or drugs at first sexual intercourse. Clinicians and educators should develop and implement, programs that promote activities between fathers and daughters in order to create protective factors against female risky sexual behavior in adulthood. Future research should consider other factors that may influence a female’s decisions at first sex such as self-esteem, confidence in condom negotiation, media, neighborhood, school and peer connectedness and the influence such factors have on adult risky sexual behavior outcomes.