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Fathers Can Independantly Influence Adolescent's Sexual Behavior

Update Date: Oct 16, 2012 09:13 AM EDT

A new research published online in Pediatrics suggests that apart from mothers, fathers also play a significant and independent role in influencing the adolescent sexual behavior.

For the study, researcher Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University in New York City, and colleagues conducted a structured review to understand the role of paternal influence on adolescent sexual behavior.

He researchers analyzed thirteen studies published from 1980 to 2011 that targeted 11- to 18-year-olds.

The findings of the analysis revealed that relative to maternal factors, paternal factors also independently influenced adolescent sexual behavior.

Further it was found that the emotional quality of the father-adolescent relationship was the most frequently studied paternal influence. It was found that the father's communication about sex with the adolescent correlated consistently with adolescent sexual behavior, while the father's attitudes to sex were least associated with sexual behaviors, Medical Xpress reported.

The study had certain drawbacks like methodological limitations, tendency to rely on cross-sectional design, nonprobability sampling methods, and a focus on sexual debut rather than broader behaviors.

"Our review makes clear that fathers have the potential to uniquely influence adolescent sexual behavior, yet have been overlooked in family-based intervention development," the authors write. "We argue for greater research to identify potential mechanisms of father-specific influence that will support successful development of father-based interventions and expand the opportunity to support adolescent health and well-being."

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