Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Maternal Child Nursing

First Advisor

Jacqueline McGrath


Although a relationship has been found in some studies between paternal attachment and female sexual behavior, knowledge of this relationship in African Americans has been limited. The purpose of this research was to determine if there was a relationship between father-daughter attachment, parent teen sexual risk communication and early sexual activity, condom use, history of sexually transmitted infection, global/sexual self-esteem and teen pregnancy in African-American females. An anonymous consent and survey was administered online to N=113 African American college women (age 18-21) attending a southeastern university. Measurements included the Parent Attachment Questionnaire (Father), Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem, Sexual Self-Esteem Inventory (short scale), the PTSRC and a sexual history. Findings of high levels of father attachment were found in this mostly middle class sample but neither attachment nor parent teen sexual risk communication was related to age of vaginal/oral initiation, condom use or sexually transmitted infections. However, attachment was predictive of global self-esteem. In addition, those with a high level of attachment were 1.0 times more likely to also have a positive pregnancy test history when maternal support for the father–daughter relationship was low. No relationship was found between sexual self-esteem and paternal attachment or between sexual self-esteem and condom use. Paternal monitoring was associated with older ages of vaginal initiation. Conclusion: Higher paternal attachment coupled with paternal monitoring may facilitate global self-esteem and be a protective factor against early sexual initiation (vaginal). Fathers are in need of education as to how to stay connected with daughters and to engage in direct and indirect sexual risk communication. Nevertheless, prevention strategies utilizing fathers could be effective in delaying onset of sexual activity. This document was originally created in Microsoft Word 2000 and later modified in Microsoft Word 2007 (compatibility mode). SPSS 17.0 statistical software was used for analysis and N-Query 6.0 was utilized for power analysis.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009