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Parental Involvement Does Impact Risky Teen Behavior

Teens tend to delay sex if Mom and Dad keep an eye on what they're doing, who they're with

teen couple on the subway

TUESDAY, Dec. 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis suggests that parents who set rules and keep tabs on their teenagers may have kids who are more cautious about sex. The meta-analysis was published online Nov. 30 in Pediatrics.

In the new report, researchers combined and analyzed the results of 30 studies from around the world. The studies, completed from 1984 to 2014, analyzed the effects of parental activities such as knowing what kids are doing or setting rules for them. The goal of the studies was to see whether the kids of more watchful parents were more likely to skip sexual activity -- defined in different ways -- or use birth control.

The investigators found that kids whose parents set rules and monitored them -- kept an eye on what they were doing and who they were with -- had sexual intercourse later in life. Those whose parents monitored them were also more likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control, but making rules didn't seem to have an effect on that front.

"Parents really matter, and they're influential," report coauthor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at New York University's Silver School of Social Work in New York City, told HealthDay.

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