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Strong Parenting Cuts STDs in Black Teen Girls

Lower rates of gonorrhea and chylamydia among these adolescents

WEDNESDAY, July 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Parental supervision may help reduce the risk of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in black teenage girls, says a study in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Johns Hopkins researchers found that black teenage girls who had high levels of parental supervision had lower rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia infections than girls with low levels of parental supervision.

The study included 158 girls, aged 14 to 19, recruited from two urban health clinics -- one a public STD clinic and the other a hospital-based adolescent medicine clinic. Fewer than 20 percent of the girls' parents were married or living together.

While high levels of parental supervision were linked with reduced levels of gonorrhea and chlamydia infections, high levels of parental discussion about STDs were not, the study found.

"Parental involvement as a strategy for promoting protective behaviors among adolescents is increasingly a subject of research, and our results provide further evidence that interventions designed to increase parental involvement may affect not only adolescent behavior but disease acquisition as well," the study authors write.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has advice on how to talk with your children about sexually transmitted diseases.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, July 6, 2004
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