Daddy's Little Girl Goes to College: An Investigation of Females’ Perceived Closeness With Fathers and Later Risky Behaviors
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OBJECTIVE: The present study investigated the extent to which father-daughter relationships predicted risk-taking in a sample of female college students. Specifically, this study examined whether female adolescents' models of father psychological presence predicted substance use and sexual risk-taking, over and above impulsivity, depression, and other risky behaviors. METHODS: A sample of 203 female college students were administered several scales assessing father psychological presence, sexual risk-taking, substance use, impulsivity, and depression. RESULTS: Father psychological presence did predict sexual risk-taking and illicit drug use (but not alcohol use) after controlling for impulsivity, other risky behavior, and mood. Further, when grouped into low and high levels of psychological presence, those in the low group were more likely to engage in a variety of risky behaviors than those who perceived high psychological presence. CONCLUSION: Consistent with evolutionary perspectives, paternal psychological presence may function as protection against risky behavior.
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