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Differences between residential and non-residential fathers on sexual socialisation of African American youth

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This study investigated differences between residential and non-residential fathers on topics discussed during father–child sex communication and factors associated with child sexual socialisation. Young people (N = 159, 53% female) provided self-reports using computer surveys on the role of their fathers on father–child sex communication, general communication, parental monitoring, father social support and topics discussed during father–child sex communication. The analysis revealed differences in topics discussed between young people with residential vs. non-residential fathers. Independent group t-tests revealed significant differences between young people with residential vs. non-residential fathers on social support and parental monitoring for sons and parental monitoring for daughters. Sons and daughters with residential fathers had higher scores on these variables. Discriminant function analyses, chi-square tests and hierarchical linear regression analyses were carried out to determine whether there were meaningful distinctions between young people with residential vs. non-residential fathers. The analysis revealed social support and parental monitoring provided the most meaningful distinction between young people with residential vs. non-residential fathers. These results highlight the importance of non-residential fathers in the sexual socialisation of their young people through parent–child sex communication. Discussion focuses on the need for development of interventions to promote the inclusion of non-residential fathers in the sexual socialisation of African American youth.
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Keywords: African American; Sexual socialisation; fathers; parent–child communication; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, California State University, Carson, CA, USA 2: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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