Young Adulthood Multiple Partnerships: The Long-Term Consequences of Maternal Parenting Style for Young Women’s Risky Behavior

Amanda T. Berger, Child Trends
Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland

In the United States, unintended pregnancies account for nearly half of all pregnancies. Young women‘s exposure to unintended pregnancy results from sexual risk-taking. . Parenting style has been identified as an important predictor of youth’s risk-taking, but few studies have examined the relationship between parenting style and sexual risk behaviors – and none have examined the effects of parenting style on sexual risk outcomes in young adulthood. Using Waves I, II, and III of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health we examined the direct and indirect associations between maternal parenting style and young women‘s multiple past year partnerships, our measure of sexual risk-taking. Results indicate that authoritarian and neglectful parenting were associated with higher numbers of past year partners. Neglectful parenting, in particular, appears to have direct, predictive effects on women’s sexual risk-taking in young adulthood.

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Presented in Session 27: Sexual Behavior and STIs