New York: Fathers note! Your parenting skills can influence the sexual behaviour of your teens, a new study has found.
The study led by Professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos from New York University Silver School showed how fathers specific parenting behaviour influence different areas of adolescent sexual risk.
However, most parent-based research on adolescent sexual risk behaviour has neglected the role of fathers, a missed opportunity to contribute to their adolescent childrens health and well-being.
While it is well-established that parenting is closely linked with a teenagers sexual health and reproductive outcomes, it is mothers that, to date, have drawn most of the attention of researchers.
The study found that far less is known about how fathers specific parenting behaviours influence different areas of adolescent sexual risk behaviour.
They found that the majority of research that looks at the role of fathers tends to conceptualise their influence with limited perspective, viewing them as an economic provider chiefly, or looking mainly at whether or not they are present in the home.
The study calls for more, and more rigorous, research, and depicts the current shortage of father-specific studies as a passed-up chance to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents.
The absence of sufficient father-focused research also contributes to a lack of understanding of the ways that fathers may differ from mothers in how they monitor, supervise, and communicate with their teenage children, and how they can make a greater difference.
Successful father-based interventions, the study says, potentially represent an additional mechanism to influence teen sexual behaviour and thus expand the opportunity to support adolescent health and well-being.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.