The influence of religiosity on adolescent risky sexual behavior
Landor, Antoinette Marie
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The present study expands the current literature on religion and adolescent sex by examining the extent to which religiosity influences adolescent risky sexual behaviors and identifies the various mechanisms through which this influence occurs, specifically among African Americans. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the effects of parental religiosity on three adolescent risky sexual behaviors. Analysis was performed separately for males and females on early initiation of sex, frequency of sex, and non-condom use to examine whether various mechanisms of influence affect males and females differently. The SEM models did not show a direct influence between parental religiosity and early initiation of sex, frequency of sex, and non-condom use; however, the results indicated that there were several indirect influences shown to reduce such risky behaviors. These mediating mechanisms are quality of parenting, adolescent religiosity, and association with conventional peers. The results suggest that parental religiosity indirectly acts as a protective factor against various risky sexual behaviors in African Americans adolescents based on gender.