7.24.2008

Family Meal Time Reduces Risky Sexual Behavior in Teens

You never knew dining together was so important, did you? A recent analysis of data by a group at Boston College found a very strong link between the amount of family interaction in which teens partake and the amount and riskiness of sexual activity
The more times a week that an adolescent reported having dinner with their family, "doing something religious" as a family, or having fun with their family, the less likely he or she was to engage in risky sexual behaviour, the researchers found.

However, having a parent who used "negative and psychologically controlling" behaviour increased the likelihood that a teen would be having risky sex. This includes "criticising the ideas of the adolescents, controlling and directing what they think and how they feel," Dr Coley explained.
I think this analysis strengthens what many good parents already know, pay attention to your child and involve them in your family and their risk profile, sexual or otherwise, will decrease. It's nice to see statistical analysis applied to correlate a parent's behavior with that of their child. It makes it clear that parental involvement is crucial to a child's development.

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