The influence of father absence on the self-esteem and self-reported sexual activity of rural southern adolescents.

Constance Smith Hendricks, Sandra K. Cesario, Carolyn Murdaugh, Mary E. Gibbons, E. Jane Servonsky, Rodel V. Bobadilla, Denisha L. Hendricks, Barbara Spencer-Morgan, Abbas Tavakoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The absence of the father in the resident home is an increasing trend in the United States, and the belief that the absence of fathers is lined with a variety of social pathologies is gaining national momentum. This study explored the relationship of father absence on self-esteem and self-reported sexual activity among rural southern adolescents. A sample of 1,409 adolescents (558 males and 851 females) aged 11 to 18 years was surveyed, and the Miller Self-Esteem Questionnaire (MSQ) was used to measure self-esteem. Analysis revealed that increased sexual activity occurred by adolescents in homes where no father present in the residence. Although a statistical significance was noted in the relationship between father absence and lower self-esteem, the magnitude of the difference was not large. Further, no relationship between self-esteem and sexual activity was noted. Seemingly, the absence of the father has a potentially detrimental effect on adolescents' lifestyle choices. Consideration of the notion that the phenomena of fathering rather than the mere presence of a father may contribute to differences in adolescent's lifestyle choices should be studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalThe ABNF journal : official journal of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc
Volume16
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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