Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pediatr Psychol. 2006 Oct;31(9):917-27. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

An exploration of social cognitive theory mediators of father-son communication about sex.

Author information

Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Room 262, 1520 Clifton Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



R.E.A.L. MEN (responsible, empowered, aware, living) is an HIV prevention project developed for fathers and their sons. The primary aim of R.E.A.L. MEN was to test the efficacy of an intervention to promote delay of sexual intercourse among 11- to 14-year-old adolescents and to enhance the father's role as a sexuality educator. In this article, we report the outcomes related to father-son communication about sex and the results of an exploratory analysis to test the hypothesis that the intervention effect on father-son communication about sex-related topics is mediated by the social cognitive variables of self-efficacy and outcome expectations.


Two hundred seventy-seven fathers and their sons enrolled in the study. Fathers randomized to the intervention group attended seven group sessions, and their sons attended the final session with them. Fathers and sons completed baseline and 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up assessments. The fathers who completed the 3-month follow-up assessment were included in the mediation analyses described in this article.


All the participants were male, most were African American (97%), and most fathers and sons reported residing in the same household. The mean age of father participants was 40.5 years; most had graduated from high school, and about 60% reported a yearly income over 30,000 dollars. Based on the results of mediation analyses, the data supported a mediation model that suggests that the effect of the intervention on father-son communication was mediated by differences in self-efficacy. A mediation effect for outcome expectations was weak and could not be validated using additional tests.


The mediation analysis provides some understanding of the role of self-efficacy and outcome expectations in promoting behavioral change. Understanding the active components of interventions can help refine the interventions to eliminate nonfunctioning components and enhance the active components leading to more streamlined programs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center