REFERENCE: Hovell, M., Sipan, C., Blumberg, E., Atkins, C., Hofstetter, C. R., Kreitner, S. (1994). Family influences on Latino and Anglo adolescents' sexual behavior. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 973-986.

This analysis explored the relationship between family variables and adolescents' sexual behavior. Latino (n = 224) and Anglo (n = 160) teens completed an interview concerning their sexual practices and social and family background. Adolescents reported a mean of 4.48 (SD = 3.24) on the sexual activity scale (petting inside of clothes); 29.9% reported some form of sexual intercourse. Sexual behavior was regressed on family variables, and a multiple R of .55, which explained 30% of the variance in sexual behavior, was obtained. The variables that accounted for most of the explained variance were: adolescent's age (positive), mother's attitude about the adolescent having sex (positive), following dating rules (negative), and mother's attitude to wait until married for intercourse (negative). It was concluded that the family influence component of the model was a moderately important contributor to the development of sexual behavior in adolescents. Results suggest that conservative maternal attitudes about sex and the presence of dating rules that are followed (or enforced) delay the development of sexual behavior.


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