Predictors of Caregiver Communication About Reproductive and Sexual Health and Sensitive Sex Topics

Tiarney D. Ritchwood, Courtney Peasant, Terrinieka W. Powell, Tamara Taggart, Giselle Corbie-Smith, Aletha Y. Akers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Numerous studies examining parent–teen communication about sex (PTCS) have focused on reproductive and sexual health information (i.e., pregnancy, physical development, contraception), with significantly fewer addressing communication about sensitive sex topics (i.e., sexual pleasure, masturbation). This study compares predictors of communication about reproductive and sexual health to those of sensitive sex topics with early adolescents. Participants were 465 rural caregivers and their African American youth. Positive attitudes and self-efficacy for PTCS, open communication style, and older youth age predicted caregiver reports of communication about reproductive and sexual health topics. Open communication style and self-efficacy for PTCS predicted caregiver reports of communication about sensitive sex topics. For youth, only older age and being female predicted communication about reproductive and sexual health, while only being female predicted communication about sensitive sex topics. This study may inform interventions that seek to increase PTCS by highlighting strategies for improving communication about both reproductive and sensitive sex topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2207-2231
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume39
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • parent–teen communication
  • sensitive sex
  • sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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