Family Communication and Religiosity Related to Substance Use and Sexual Behavior in Early Adolescence: A Test for Pathways Through Self-Control and Prototype Perceptions


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Abstract

This research tested predictions about pathways to substance use and sexual behavior with a community sample of 297 African American adolescents (M age: 13.0 years). Structural modeling indicated that parent-adolescent communication had a path to unfavorable prototypes of substance users; quality of parent-adolescent relationship had paths to good self-control, higher resistance efficacy, and unfavorable prototypes of sexually active teens; and religiosity had inverse direct effects to both substance use and sexual behavior. Self-control constructs had paths to prototypes of abstainers, whereas risk taking had paths to prototypes of drug and sex engagers and direct effects to outcomes. Prototypes had paths to outcomes primarily through resistance efficacy and peer affiliations. Effects were also found for gender, parental education, and temperament characteristics. Implications for self-control theory and prevention research are discussed.

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