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Hispanic Youths Not Close To Parents More Likely To Indulge In Substance Abuse, Early Sex

Parent Herald | January 18, 5:38 AM

A recent study reveals Hispanic youths coming from dysfunctional families with least parental supervision indulge in risky sexual behavior and substance abuse.

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Researchers at University of Michigan say that parental involvement in the lives of Hispanic youths significantly brings down substance abuse and risky sexual behavior among them.

"Effective parenting plays a key role in the development of Hispanic youth and may help to prevent problem behavior, including substance use and sexual risk behaviors," said David Cordova, the lead author of the study, in a press release.

The researchers based their findings on a survey of 746 Hispanic teens and their parents based on six factors- positive parenting, parental involvement, family cohesion, family communication, parental monitoring of peers and parent-adolescent communication. Alongside, the teens were also asked to report about their drug and alcohol abuse, how frequently they indulged in unprotected sex or initiated early sex, in the last 90 days and lifetime.

The teens who were not close to their parents were found to be more into drugs, alcohol usage in the past 90 days and initiated unprotected and early sex.

The Hispanic volunteers for the study were also judged on their exposure to American and Hispanic cultural practices. Many of the Hispanics youths were found having tastes hugely differing from their parents. According to the researchers, the greater the differences, more the effect on parent-teen relationship.

Effective parental guidance can make teens aware of the pros and cons of getting involved in risky sexual behavior and reduce chances of contracting HIV, stated Cordova.

"To effectively engage Hispanic families in prevention programs, intervention developers need to consider the social, political and institutional barriers that have historically prevented this population from having quality and equal access to programs and services, "Cordova said in a statement.  "By not doing so, we run the risk of blaming them."

An earlier study showed how low socio-economic status of parents results in obesity in kids and  teens. Such parents tend to opt for high calorie fast food and do not go for healthier options. 


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