Navigation Links
Fathers' Concern Rises When Teens Start Having Sex

Dads become more motivated to intervene and keep kids safe, study finds

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that family togetherness can be a tool to prevent teens from engaging in risky sexual behavior and provides surprising insight into the role played by fathers when they discover their teens are sexually active.

Contrary to previous evidence that suggested parents detach when they realize their teens have sex lives, researchers found that dads actually start paying more attention. "When adolescents increased their risky sexual activities, fathers became more knowledgeable about their children's activities and friends," said study author Rebekah Levine Coley. "This suggests that fathers may be making more of an effort to be engaged with their youth to try to stem their risky behaviors."

It's not clear, however, whether more active fathering actually helps teens avoid risky behavior, said Coley, an associate professor of applied developmental and educational psychology at Boston College.

Despite decades of efforts to convince teenagers to abstain from sex, an estimated one-fourth of adolescents have had sexual intercourse by the age of 15, and that number grows to two-thirds by 18.

Researchers in the sociology field generally view sexual activity by teens as undesirable and risky. As the new study says, sexual intercourse in adolescents carries "numerous potential repercussions" such as pregnancy and disease.

The study authors examined an ongoing survey of young people that began in 1997. The researchers focused on 3,206 adolescents and their families.

The findings appear in the May/June issue of Child Development.

The researchers found that children were less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior if their families engaged in activities together. The activities included things like eating dinner together, going to church, playing sports and games, and going to the movies, Coley said.

"The time the parents spend with their children engaging in everyday activities can provide very important opportunities for meaningful relationships and communication between parents and children," she said. This helps parents to "create shared values and ideas and keep tabs on what their children are doing and what they're up to."

Still, the research doesn't prove that more family togetherness directly leads to less risky sexual behavior.

While previous research has suggested that parents of sexually active teens become "less engaged, less effective parents," the new findings don't show that, at least in regard to fathers, Coley said.

Freya L. Sonenstein, director of the Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said the study was well-done and provides new information about the role of fathers.

In the bigger picture, "the results demonstrate again that parents and families matter for adolescents, and that maintaining or increasing family activities may potentially lower the likelihood of teens engaging in sexual risk behaviors," she said.

But, she said, the findings only apply to families with two parents in the household because the researchers didn't look at one-parent households.

More information

Get more on parenting teens from

SOURCES: Rebekah Levine Coley, Ph.D., associate professor, applied developmental and educational psychology, Boston College; Freya L. Sonenstein, Ph.D., professor and director, Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; May/June 2009 Child Development

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Community-based Internet forums are great for new mothers, but could marginalize fathers
2. Children of Older Fathers at Risk for Bipolar Disorder
3. Children of older fathers more likely to have bipolar disorder
4. Non-Resident Fathers Project Selects Four National Sites for Funding to Increase Father Involvement and Improve Outcomes in Child Welfare
5. Birth Problems Linked to Teenage Fathers
6. Getting fathers involved in childrens ADHD treatment programs
7. New Online Resource for Consumers, Athletes and Coaches Concerned About Athletic Banned Substances
8. Docs Are Becoming Less Concerned About H1N1 Swine Flu
9. Polls Show Americans Concerned About Swine Flu, Taking Actions to Protect Themselves
10. Travel Continues Despite Swine Flu Concerns
11. Survey finds nearly half of Americans concerned they or their family may get sick from swine flu
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Fathers' Concern Rises When Teens Start Having Sex
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate ... athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The McHenry County law ... successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex C. Wimmer. Attorneys ... Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to court documents, Adcock ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of Bird-X ... Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite heater ... model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens ... Bruxism, and moderate facial wrinkling. While many patients are aware of the benefits of ... success Botox® delivers to those suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced ... Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- ARKRAY USA , Inc., a leader ... the accuracy of its blood glucose meter systems. Last ... and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles ... 01 meter and the Assure ® Prism ... accurately measure glucose levels in blood is essential for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest provider ... medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at the ... Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for the ... designed to help any practice or laboratory enter the ... a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused ... treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the closing ... American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ... up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: