The Center for Adolescent Health and Development at the University of Minnesota National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health looked at over 5,000 adolescents and their mothers for one year. Researchers found that caring, connectedness, consistency, and clarity with teens are important-especially for younger teens.*
Specifically, they found that:
1 – When mothers reported satisfaction with their relationships with their daughters, their daughters were more likely to report that they had not had sexual intercourse. Similarly, high levels of mother-child connectedness are independently related to delays in sexual intercourse among eighth and ninth grade boys and girls as well as among tenth and eleventh grade boys. The effect of connectedness appears to diminish for older girls.
2 – Teens who feel that their mothers disapprove of their having sexual intercourse are more likely to delay intercourse. However, simply stating this disapproval is not enough. Parents must clearly explain and reinforce this message.
*”Connectedness” was defined as adolescents’ feeling close to their mothers, knowing that their mothers cared for them, having open communication with their mothers, and feeling satisfied in their relationships with their mothers.