Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 142 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Gabriel L Schlomer

Committee Members

Erin Baker, Hung-Bin Sheu


Teenagers, Parent and teenager, Genetic polymorphisms, Birth control, Behavior genetics, Neurogenetics

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Genetics


The purpose of this study was (a) to examine relationships between parental influences and personal attributes on birth control use and (b) to identify genetic influences on such relationships by comparing the frequencies of common genetic variants—short allele vs. long allele—in 5-HTTLPR among adolescents (N = 5,852). Data from the Wave 1 and Wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to examine the birth control use of adolescents who were in 7th through 12th grade in 1994–1995. Multi-group Structural Equation Modeling analyses were used to identify the relationship among factors. Results did not find significant indirect effects of parental factors on birth control use within the framework of an extended TPB model. Initially, birth control use was not predicted by the current model, x^2 = 6700.99 (df = 357, p < .01), CFI = .766, RMSEA = .068, WRMR = 3.905. However, the current study showed there were direct effects of personal attributes (TPB constructs) on birth control use within the framework of the TPB model, x^2 = 134.011 (df = 53, p < .01), CFI = .991, RMSEA = .023, WRMR = 1.122. Adolescents who perceived their parents as more disapproving of sex values were less likely to use birth control (b = -.124, p < .05) during their most recent sexual intercourse, while those who perceived their parents as having more positive attitudes about birth control use (b = .316, p < .05), and who had higher self-efficacy were more likely to use birth control (b = .312, p < .05) at their most recent sexual intercourse. Additionally, the current study did not find effects of genetic variants of 5-HTTLPR that moderate the influences of the TPB constructs on birth control use (p > .05). Taken together, the current study extended empirical understanding in TPB constructs and provided a better explanation of the relationship among TPB constructs, 5-HTTLPR and the birth control use of adolescents.