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How Are Self-Efficacy and Family Involvement Associated With Less Sexual Risk Taking Among Ethnic Minority Adolescents?


  • Family Studies & Human Development and Mexican American Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0078.

University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210078, Tucson, AZ 85721-0078 (


The current study investigates the protective influences of family involvement (i.e., parental monitoring, communication, closeness, and family proximity) and sexual self-efficacy on the risky sexual behavior of ethnic minority (predominantly Mexican-origin) adolescents in the southwestern United States (N = 122). Results indicate that whereas sexual self-efficacy was associated with intentions to have safe sex in the next 3 months, family involvement predicted being less likely to have ever had sex and to intend to have sex in the next 3 months and fewer lifetime sexual partners, beyond the variance predicted by sexual self-efficacy. Sexual self-efficacy continues to be an important predictor of adolescent risky sexual behavior and intentions; however, family involvement (monitoring, communication, closeness, and proximity) impacts certain positive preventive behaviors above and beyond self-efficacy. Family involvement is an important factor to consider in prevention and intervention with ethnic minority adolescents.