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Pediatrics. 2001 Aug;108(2):E28.

Predictors of mother-adolescent discussions about condoms: implications for providers who serve youth.

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Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Surveillance and Epidemiology, National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



To examine predictors of mother-adolescent communication about condoms.


Interviews were conducted with 907 mothers of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years in the Bronx, New York; Montgomery, Alabama; and San Juan, Puerto Rico, to determine whether mothers had talked with their adolescent about condoms.


By univariate analysis, mother-adolescent communication about condoms was associated with greater knowledge about sexuality and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, perception of having enough information to discuss condoms, information from a health-related source, less conservative attitudes about adolescent sexuality, perception that the adolescent was at risk for human immunodeficiency virus, greater ability and comfort in discussing condoms, stronger belief that condoms prevent human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and a more favorable endorsement of condoms. In multivariate analyses, mother-adolescent communication about condoms was associated with a less conservative attitude about abstinence until marriage (odds ratio [OR]: 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54-0.74), greater skill in communicating about sex (OR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.06-1.20), greater comfort in communicating about sex (OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.01-1.69), a more favorable endorsement of condoms (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.17-2.78), and the perception that the adolescent's friends were sexually active (OR: 3.53; 95% CI: 1.97-7.16).


Parents who communicate effectively about sexuality and safer sex behaviors can influence their adolescents' risk-taking behavior. Health care providers, particularly physicians, can facilitate this communication by providing to parents information about the sexual behavior of adolescents, the risks that adolescents encounter, condom use, condom effectiveness, and how to discuss condoms. They also can make referrals to programs that teach communication skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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