Supportive relationships and sexual risk behavior in adolescence: An ecological-transactional approach

Christopher C. Henrich, Kathryn A. Brookmeyer, Lydia A. Shrier, Golan Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the longitudinal associations between supportive relationships with friends and parents and sexual risk behavior in adolescence based on an ecological-transactional perspective. Methods Analyses were conducted on 2,652 sexually active adolescents from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Results: African-American adolescents had lower risk for sexual risk behavior. Supportive friendships and parent connectedness interacted in predicting decreased likelihood of sexual risk behavior. Mother-child communication about sex contributed to decreased likelihood of sexual risk only for girls. There were also small reciprocal effects of sexual risk behavior on decreased relationship quality over time. Conclusion: To better understand the parents' role in adolescent sexual risk behavior, multiple facets of parenting, the social contexts of parenting and adolescents' peers, and the effects of adolescents' behavior on these relationships should be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-297
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Friends
  • Parents
  • Sexual risk behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Supportive relationships and sexual risk behavior in adolescence: An ecological-transactional approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this