The Influence of Family Structure and Family Socioeconomic Status on the Sexual Initiation of First, Second, and Third Generation Mexican-Origin Adolescents

Kate Coleman-Minahan, University of Colorado at Denver

In order to reduce sexual health disparities among Latino adolescents we must untangle differences by country of origin and immigrant generation. I use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine how family structure and family socioeconomic status (SES) help explain differences in age at sexual initiation among first, second, and third generation Mexican-origin adolescents. I find that risk for sexual initiation is lowest in the first generation, followed by second and third generations and family structure and family SES account for some of the generational differences. Most interestingly, for the first generation, an increase in years of mother’s and father’s education increase the probability hazard of sexual initiation and mother's unemployment decreases the probability hazard of sexual initiation compared to employed mothers. In sum, Mexican-origin adolescents of different immigrant generation are in fact different and further exploration is necessary to understand sexual health risks.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior