Do parental protective factors matter? Predicting HIV/STI risk among a sample of justice-involved African-American girls

Natasha Crooks, Shufang Sun, Akilah Wise, Ralph DiClemente, Jessica Mc Dermott Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


African American adolescent girls are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STI). Parental protection may play a critical role in the sexual behaviors of African American adolescent girls and help to inform family-based interventions. The current study investigated the impact of parental protective factors (monitoring, sex communication, and authoritarian parenting) on sexual risk-related outcomes in a sample (n = 172) of justice-involved, urban African American adolescent girls aged 13–17 years. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate the association between parental protective factors and percentage of consistent condom use, HIV/STI knowledge, fear of condom negation, and condom self-efficacy 3 months after their release from detention centers. Baseline parental protective factors were significantly associated with sexual risk-related outcomes of African American adolescent girls. Parental monitoring was positively associated with consistency of condom use and increased HIV/STI knowledge. Parental communication about sex reduced fear of condom negotiation and increased condom self-efficacy. Authoritarian parenting predicted increased HIV/STI knowledge and fear of condom negotiation following release. Programs, policies, and interventions addressing the sexual health of African American adolescent girls should engage families to enhance protective factors to reduce their sexual risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106970
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Adolescents
  • African American
  • Female
  • Juvenile
  • Parenting
  • Sexual risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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