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J Adolesc Health. 2015 Aug;57(2):174-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.04.010.

Quality of Parent-Adolescent Conversations About Sex and Adolescent Sexual Behavior: An Observational Study.

Author information

1
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Electronic address: adam.rogers@asu.edu.
2
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Family and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
3
Counseling Psychology and Human Services, College of Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
4
Prevention Research Center, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Studies suggest that the quality of parent-adolescent communication about sex uniquely predicts adolescent sexual behavior. Previous studies have relied predominantly on self-report data. Observational methods, which are not susceptible to self-report biases, may be useful in examining the associations between the quality of parent-adolescent communication about sex and adolescent sexual behavior more objectively.

METHODS:

With a sample of adolescents (N = 55, 58% male, 44% white, Mage = 15.8) and their parents, we used hierarchical logistic regression analyses to examine the associations between the observed quality of parent-adolescent communication about dating and sex and the likelihood of adolescents' sexual intercourse.

RESULTS:

The quality of parent-adolescent communication about dating and sex predicted sexual behavior. Specifically, lecturing was associated with a higher likelihood of adolescents having had sexual intercourse.

CONCLUSIONS:

The quality of parent-adolescent communication about sex is a unique correlate of adolescent sexual behavior and warrants further investigation. Thus, it serves as a potential target of preventive interventions that aim to foster adolescent sexual health behaviors.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Observation; Parent–child communication; Quality of communication; Sexual behavior

PMID:
26206438
PMCID:
PMC4514915
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.04.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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