This study was conducted with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under cooperative agreement U48DP000057-SIP4-04, “Evaluation of Abstinence-Only and Abstinence-Plus HIV, STI and Pregnancy Prevention for Middle School Students.”
Sexual Initiation, Parent Practices, and Acculturation in Hispanic Seventh Graders
Article first published online: 12 JAN 2012
© 2012, American School Health Association
Journal of School Health
Volume 82, Issue 2, pages 75–81, February 2012
How to Cite
Morales-Campos, D. Y., Markham, C., Peskin, M. F. and Fernandez, M. E. (2012), Sexual Initiation, Parent Practices, and Acculturation in Hispanic Seventh Graders. Journal of School Health, 82: 75–81. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00669.x
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 12 JAN 2012
- Received on January 26, 2011, Accepted on April 21, 2011
- sexual intercourse;
- parental monitoring;
- parent-child communication;
BACKGROUND: Hispanic youths have high rates of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancies, yet little research has targeted multiple protective/risk factors for early sexual initiation in this group. This study examined two main factors—parenting practices and acculturation—on early sexual initiation among Hispanic middle school students in Texas.
METHODS: Using data from Hispanic seventh graders (N = 655) in 15 urban middle schools in southeast Texas, we examined the association between parental monitoring/parent-child communication about sexual health and sexual initiation.
RESULTS: After controlling for age, gender, parent/guardian education, family structure, acculturation level, and intervention status, the likelihood of ever having sex decreased 50% for every 1-point increase in the parental monitoring score (AOR = 0.50;95%CI = 0.34,0.75). No association was found between ever having sex and parent-child communication scores (AOR = 1.29;95%CI = 0.76,2.18). Furthermore, parental monitoring differed significantly between acculturation levels, 1-way analysis of variance F(2,652) = 5.07, p < 0.007. This finding was unrelated to the parental monitoring-initiation association in the multivariable model.
CONCLUSION: Parental monitoring may delay sexual initiation among Hispanic middle school students. Parental monitoring differs by acculturation levels, warranting further investigation. These findings can inform school-based, parent-involved interventions designed to delay sexual initiation among Hispanic youth.