Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Marla Reese-Weber


The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between family context factors (parental monitoring, family structure, and amount and timing of parent-adolescent communication), socioeconomic status (parental education) and sexual risk taking behaviors in adolescence (age of sexual initiation, number of lifetime partners, condom use, pregnancy prevention, and drug/alcohol use). The participants included 255 students between the ages of 18 and 25 from Illinois State University. The majority of the participants were White/European, heterosexual, women. Students were offered the opportunity to receive extra credit for their participation in the study. Participants were asked to fill out a demographic survey, parental monitoring measure, parent-adolescent communication measure, sexual risk taking measure and timing of parent-adolescent sexual discussion measure. The results provided insight into sexual risk taking behaviors. Specifically, adolescents of divorced and single-parent families have a lower age of sexual initiation in comparison to intact families. Also, parental monitoring was correlated

with age of sexual initiation and number of sexual partners, suggesting, that more parental monitoring was related to an older age of sexual initiation and a lower number of lifetime partners. Additionally, on-time mother-adolescent sexual communication was associated with a later age of sexual initiation; however, on-time father-adolescent sexual communication was associated with less condom use and less pregnancy prevention.


Imported from ProQuest Daniel_ilstu_0092N_10646.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Psychology Commons