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AIDS Behav. 2009 Oct;13(5):997-1004. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9468-z. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Parent-adolescent sexual communication: associations of condom use with condom discussions.

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Department of Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


This study investigated the relationship between parent-teen sexual communication, discussion of condoms, and condom use among adolescents in mental health treatment. Adolescents with a history of sexual intercourse and their parents completed questionnaires assessing adolescent sexual risk behavior, sexual communication, and discussion of sexual topics. Greater condom use by adolescents was associated with parent-adolescent condom discussion but was not associated with openness in sexual communication. Seventy-six percent of adolescents reported that parents had discussed condoms with them and these discussions were significantly associated with protected sexual acts. In a logistic regression, accounting for age, gender, race, and psychiatric diagnosis teens that discussed condoms with their parent were more likely to report condom use at last sex. Increasing direct communication about condoms may be an important step in increasing adolescent's safer sex behavior. Mental health disorders and family distress may make such discussions challenging but are not an insurmountable barrier to direct discussions about condoms.

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