The importance of fathers contextualizing sexual risk taking in "low-risk" African American adolescent girls.

Journal Name
Journal of human behavior in the social environment.
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Author (Individual)
Peterson, Shani Harris.
Resource Type
Journal Article
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Resource Language
The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between self-esteem, sociodemographic factors, father-daughter relationships, and sexual risk-taking in an economically diverse group of late-adolescent African American girls. Participants were 100 African American adolescent girls from the Southeast region of the U.S. Regression analyses revealed that fathers' education was the most powerful predictor of sexual risk, with self-esteem emerging as a significant, yet less powerful predictor. A subset of the initial sample participated in a secondary, qualitative study explicitly examining father-daughter communication about sexuality. Thematic analysis revealed three distinct categories of father-daughter sexual communication. Participants associated directive and insightful communication styles with positive father-daughter relationships and less risky sexual behavior. Absent/avoidant communication was linked to rejection, regret, and more risky sexual behavior. Results suggest that impact of fathers on girls' sexual risk taking is powerful and distinctly different than the effect of the more traditionally explored correlates of risk. (Author abstract)

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