Mother/adolescent communication about sexual behavior and attitudes

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Texas Tech University

This study was a secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a large national sample of parent and their adolescents age 10-19. The current research was done to look at the relationships between adolescent and mother demographics, mother comfort and knowledge, mother/adolescent communication about sexual behavior and attitudes, and adolescent sexual outcomes. It was expected that these variables would provide results that would show predictors of effective mother/adolescent communication and help educators target parents for educational programs concerning communication with their children on topics of a sexual nature. Mothers were found to report more communication with daughters than sons. Mother/adolescent communication was found to have an association with adolescent use of protection, perceived risks of sexual consequences, and number of sexually transmitted diseases, but only when the control variables were not present. Demographic variables themselves were directly related to adolescent sexual outcomes. If mothers were less comfortable, they discussed sexual matters less with adolescents. They also underestimated adolescent initiation and involvement in sexual intercourse.