An assessment of parent involvement strategies in programs serving adolescents; Interim Report, Literature and Program Report Review
Emerging empirical research has shown that parent involvement is associated with later adolescent sexual initiation; lower rates of adolescent premarital sexual activity, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and childbearing; a reduction in the number of adolescent sexual partners; and increased adolescent condom and other contraceptive use. Findings from a wide range of studies highlight multiple dimensions of parent involvement associated with positive adolescent reproductive health behaviors, including parent-child communication about sex, contraception, pregnancy, and/or HIV risk; parental monitoring of adolescents' behavior; and parent involvement in adolescents' activities. Research also documents the important role that parents play in the lives of pregnant or parenting adolescents and their children. However, barriers to involving parents in intervention programs include low rates of parent participation, especially among parents of at-risk children; the challenging social contexts in which many parents live, such as poverty, communities with high crime rates, areas of high substance use, inadequate employment opportunities, and insufficient support systems; perceived barriers to communication; and low self-efficacy among parents.