Effects of Parental Age and Marital Status on Adolescent Sexual Activity

Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Eric Landrum


There are many influential factors on adolescent’s sexual behavior like family values, gender differences, and parental beliefs. Previous studies have focused on the influences of family structure and the communication within that structure. Many of these studies have shown that sexual behavior in adolescents is a rising behavior. In this study I examined the effects of parental age and marital status on adolescent’s sexual behavior. The focus of this study was to understand adolescent sexual behavior. Participants of this study completed a 234-question survey. Six of those questions pertained to the current study by asking participants age of first sexual intercourse, number of partners, and questions asked about participant’s parental age and marital status while in grades 6-12. With these questions I hypothesized that if participant’s biological parents were older and still married during grades 6-12 the longer a participant would wait before engaging in sexual behavior. With that it was also hypothesized that their number of sexual partners would be lower if their biological parents were still married. The results indicated no significant correlation between adolescent sexual behavior and parental marital status or age, showing that being raised by biological, single or social parents have no influence on adolescent sexual behavior. The results also showed that the age of your parents does not influence your sexual behavior. The limitations of this study were predominately the small sample size and the limited number of questions able to ask in the survey. It is hoped that participants answered the questions honestly and accurately.

This document is currently not available here.