Parenting style may play an important part in preventing early pregnancy and reducing risky sexual behavior in African-American youth, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The study, authored by researchers at the University of Georgia, found children raised by nurturant-responsive parents were less likely to get pregnant before the age of 19 and less likely to participate in risky sexual behavior.

About 890 African-American youths were followed from age 11 to age 19 for the study. Researchers theorized that nurturing homes and a home environment that promoted health would positively impact sexual behaviors.

At the conclusion of the study, the theory paralleled real-life events. Children raised by nurturant-responsive parents were more likely to avoid pregnancy by age 19 and avoid risky sexual behaviors.

Source: Kogan SM, Cho J, Allen K, Lei MK, Beach SR, Gibbons FX, Simons LG, Simons RL, Brody GH. Avoiding Adolescent Pregnancy: A Longitudinal Analysis of African-American Youth. J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr 11. pii: S1054-139X(13)00082-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.01.024.