Social Media and Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents: Is there a link?
Reproduced with permission of JMIR Public Health and Surveillance Ltd. Social Media and Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents: Is there a link?
BACKGROUND: Adolescent sexual risk taking and its consequences remain a global public health concern. Empirical evidence on the impact that social media has on sexual health behaviors among youth is sparse.
OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to examine the relationship between social media and the change in sexual risk over time and whether parental monitoring moderates this relationship.
METHODS: This study comprised a sample of 555 Latino youth aged 13-19 years from Maryland, United States completing baseline and follow-up surveys. Mixed-effects linear regression was used to examine the relationship between social media and the change in sexual risk over time and whether parental monitoring moderated the relationship.
RESULTS: Sexual risk behaviors significantly increased between baseline (T1) and follow up (T2) (mean=0.432 vs mean=0.734, P
CONCLUSIONS: Although adolescents exchange SMS at high rates, parental monitoring remains vital to parent-child relationships and can moderate SMS frequency and sexual risk behaviors, despite parental influence diminishing and peer pressure and social influences increasing during adolescence.