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Volume Number 24, 3
THE INFLUENCEOF THE FAMILYON PREMARITAL SEXUAL ATTITUDESAND BEHAVIOR ArlandThornton Donald Camburn Research Survey Center, Institute Social Research, Ann for UniversityMichigan, Arbor, of Michigan 48106
and Adolescent sexuality, pregnancy, childbearing recently have becomeimportant elements demographic of processes theUnited in States.An increasing number ofyoung unmarried Americans sexually are active before and marriage; despite more widespread use of contraception, thereare now morepregnancies, births, and abortions young to unmarried women (Zelnikand Kantner, 1980a).Accompanying theseshifts adolescent in have in sexuality fertility beensharpincreases age at and marriage, independent living young by people,paid employment mothers, by and divorce.Concurrently, marital fertility declined. has The socialization attitudes of concerning and sexuality thelearning appropriate of norms sexualbehavior of beginearlyin lifeand are influenced theenvironment by ofthehomeandthevaluesandbehavior parents. family a central of The is institution in theformation sexualattitudes behavior of and becauseitprovides rolemodels, a social and economicenvironment, standards sexual conduct(Fox, 1981; and of and Furstenberg, 1981;Herceg-Baron Furstenberg, 1982). life The specific dimensions family influencing formation attitudinal of the and of behavioral patterns are amongadolescentchildren stillonly dimlyunderstood, and awarenessof the despitethe recognition the importance the family of of in simultaneous trends family andadolescent life sexuality (Fox, 1981).The purpose of this paper is to examinethe role of family affiliation and values, religious as and in commitment, well as marital, childbearing, laborforceexperience the of and A development sexualattitudes behavior. model theinfluence thefamily of of on adolescentsexual attitudes and behavioris developedthatfocuses on the processes family of influence incorporates and attitudinal behavioral and information from bothparents their and children. Thismodelis evaluated with empirically data from study mothers their a of and children, thatallow usingstatistical techniques measurement to be takenintoaccount. error THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Theoretical empirical and investigations adolescent of and sexuality childbearing haveidentified a number avenuesthrough of which parental the family influence may the attitudes behavior children. focuson fouraspectsof the parental and of We that literature suggested particularly are has determinants family previous important of adolescentattitudes and behavior:the attitudes the parentsconcerning of adolescentsexuality; marital the and childbearing behavior parents, of including withmarital and experience dissolution, remarriage, childbearing,...