Paternal influences on adolescent sexual risk behaviors: a structured literature review.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Background and objective

To date, most parent-based research has neglected the role of fathers in shaping adolescent sexual behavior and has focused on mothers. The objective of this study was to conduct a structured review to assess the role of paternal influence on adolescent sexual behavior and to assess the methodological quality of the paternal influence literature related to adolescent sexual behavior.

Methods

We searched electronic databases: PubMed, PsychINFO, Social Services Abstracts, Family Studies Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Studies published between 1980 and 2011 that targeted adolescents 11 to 18 years and focused on paternal parenting processes were included. Methodological quality was assessed by using an 11-item scoring system.

Results

Thirteen articles were identified and reviewed. Findings suggest paternal factors are independently associated with adolescent sexual behavior relative to maternal factors. The most commonly studied paternal influence was emotional qualities of the father-adolescent relationship. Paternal communication about sex was most consistently associated with adolescent sexual behavior, whereas paternal attitudes about sex was least associated. Methodological limitations include a tendency to rely on cross-sectional design, nonprobability sampling methods, and focus on sexual debut versus broader sexual behavior.

Conclusions

Existing research preliminarily suggests fathers influence the sexual behavior of their adolescent children; however, more rigorous research examining diverse facets of paternal influence on adolescent sexual behavior is needed. We provide recommendations for primary care providers and public health practitioners to better incorporate fathers into interventions designed to reduce adolescent sexual risk behavior.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Guilamo-Ramos, V; Bouris, A; Lee, J; McCarthy, K; Michael, SL; Pitt-Barnes, S; Dittus, P

Published Date

  • November 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 130 / 5

Start / End Page

  • e1313 - e1325

PubMed ID

  • 23071205

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5527663

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-4275

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-4005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1542/peds.2011-2066

Language

  • eng