The Role of Religious Socialization and Religiosity in African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents' Sexual Initiation

J Relig Health. 2018 Oct;57(5):1889-1904. doi: 10.1007/s10943-018-0605-3.


This study determined the nature of the associations between religious socialization, religiosity, and adolescent sexual initiation. Data originated from the National Survey of American Life-Adolescent (n = 1170), a nationally representative study of black adolescents. Factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and logistic regression were used to evaluate hypotheses. Results indicated that as black adolescents received more messages about religious beliefs and practices, their religiosity was greater and, in turn, they were less likely to report sexual initiation; findings varied by ethnicity, gender, and age. Findings contribute to understanding religious socialization and its association with sexual initiation.

Keywords: Black adolescents; Religiosity; Religious socialization; Sexual initiation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black People / psychology*
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Caribbean Region
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Religion*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Socialization*