The project was supported by Grants R01DA018913 and R01DA033996 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Stronger Working Memory Reduces Sexual Risk Taking in Adolescents, Even After Controlling for Parental Influences
Version of Record online: 17 JUN 2015
© 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 86, Issue 4, pages 1125–1141, July/August 2015
How to Cite
Khurana, A., Romer, D., Betancourt, L. M., Brodsky, N. L., Giannetta, J. M. and Hurt, H. (2015), Stronger Working Memory Reduces Sexual Risk Taking in Adolescents, Even After Controlling for Parental Influences. Child Development, 86: 1125–1141. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12383
- Issue online: 17 JUL 2015
- Version of Record online: 17 JUN 2015
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Grant Numbers: R01DA018913, R01DA033996
This study examined the prospective influence of adolescent working memory (WM) on changes in impulsivity and sexual risk taking and assessed whether this relation could be explained by confounding effects of parental influences. Data from 360 community adolescents (Mage = 13.5 ± 0.95 years; 52% female; 56% non-Hispanic White; low-mid socioeconomic status (SES); recruited from Philadelphia area in 2004–2005) were analyzed using structural equation modeling to predict changes in impulsivity and sexual risk taking over a 2-year follow-up, using baseline assessments of WM, parental monitoring, parental involvement, and SES. Stronger WM predicted reduced involvement in sexual risk taking at follow-up, effects channeled through changes in impulsivity dimensions of “acting without thinking” and “inability to delay gratification.” Parental variables had a protective influence on adolescent impulsivity and risk involvement, but the effects of WM operated independently of parental influences.