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Adolescent Sexuality and Parent-Adolescent Processes: Promoting Healthy Teen Choices


  • Laurie L. Meschke,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laurie L. Meschke, Ph.D. is the Director of Community Outreach for the Maternal and Child Health Program in Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses primarily on adolescent sexuality and risk-taking behaviors.
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  • Suzanne Bartholomae,

    1. Suzanne Bartholomae, M.S. is a Ph.D. candidate in Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University. Her interests include basic and applied research related to economic stress, well-being, and the family, as well as program development and evaluation.
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  • Shannon R. Zentall

    1. Shannon Zentall, M.S. completed her Master's Degree in Human Developmnet and Family Science from The Ohio State University. She is now a Research Associate at The University of Pittsburgh.
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  • *This paper was originally presented at the meeting of Health Futures of Youth II: Pathways to adolescent health, Department of Health and Human Services, Annapolis, MD.

**Address correspondence to: Laurie L. Meschke, University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, West Bank Office Building, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015;


Trends in adolescent sexual health, the relation between parenting and adolescent sexual outcomes, and adolescent sexuality interventions with a parent component are reviewed. American adolescents have higher rates of unprotected sex and STI contraction than adults and nine times the teen pregnancy rate of their European counterparts. Parenting efforts are related to adolescent sexual behavior. The review of 19 relevant programs supports the incorporation of theory and the ecological model in program design and evaluation.