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Keywords

Adolescents, Families, Resilience, Risk-taking

 

Authors

  1. Tuttle, Jane PhD, APRN, BC, FNP
  2. Landau, Judith MD, DPM, CFLE
  3. Stanton, M. Duncan PhD
  4. King, Kathleen Utter MS, CNM
  5. Frodi, Ann PhD

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To more fully understand the associations between family variables and sexual behavior of young women.

 

Study Design and Methods: Forty-two female clients of an urban youth agency (16 to 25 years of age) were interviewed about intergenerational stories and contact with extended families. Individuation was measured by self-report using the intergenerational individuation subscale of the Personal Authority in the Family System Questionnaire. Self-report questions were used to gain information about the young women's sexual risk behavior. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation, independent t-tests, and multiple regression. Family stories were analyzed for themes of resilience or vulnerability.

 

Results: Young women who perceived their connection with previous generations in a resilient light tended to be more individuated and report less risky sexual behaviors.

 

Clinical implications: These results may give direction in the design of family interventions for reducing sexual risk taking and enhancing positive health behavior. Interventions would include promoting a healthy degree of attachment between adolescents and their families, exploration of family of origin issues, and referral for more intensive services when needed.