Parenting Practices and Sexual Risk-Taking in a Sub-Saharan African Context: What Can We Learn from a Life Course Perspective?

Estelle Sidze, Université de Montréal

CONTEXT: Little evidence is available on the role played by parents/guardians in shaping children’s sexual behaviors in sub-Saharan African settings. METHODS: Our study uses repeated measures of parent-child relationships, parental monitoring, and parent-child sexual communication over time to examine their association with children’s sexual risk-taking. Two lines of investigation are explored: (1) the long-term associations between parenting practices during early adolescence and sexual risk-taking in young ages, and (2) the effect of consistent versus inconsistent parenting practices over time on sexual risk-taking in young ages. Analyses are performed using data from the Cameroon Family and Health Survey. RESULTS: Our findings show that risk factors for high sexual risk-taking in young ages can be found in early adolescence in the form of poor relationships with parents, and silence on sexual issues. They can also be found in the consistency of poor relationships with parents over the life course.

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Presented in Session 150: Parental Influences on Adolescent Sexual Behavior