Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
The purpose of this study was to examine ethnic and marital status differences in family structure, risk behaviors and service requests among African American and Hispanic adolescent fathers participating in a community-based fatherhood program. Demographic factors, risk behaviors, and service requests were gathered at program entry. The results indicated that each group demonstrated distinct patterns associated with family structure, sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and criminal behavior. In comparison to African American fathers, Hispanic fathers were younger and were more likely to be married and present at the delivery of their child. African American fathers reported having more children than Hispanic fathers. Disparities in school-related measures were also found, with African American fathers having higher high school graduation rates than Hispanic fathers. The impact of marriage on risk behaviors had mixed results. Services requests were similar for both groups. The finding that different ethnic groups have specific patterns of risk behaviors highlights the importance of considering the ethnic composition of a population when developing future research and interventions. (Author abstract)
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