Effect of a Program to Facilitate Parent-Child Communication About Sex

Rebecca L. Huston, Linda J. Martin, D. Michael Foulds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

U.S. teens have high rates of premarital sexual activity resulting in alarming rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. One possible way to combat the problem of teenage sexual activity is to promote sexuality education within the family. The purpose of this study was to increase parent-child communication about sex through an educational program for parents. The effect of the educational program was evaluated by a nonrandomized, controlled trial. Volunteer parents were recruited from three middle schools (grade six through eight) located in middle to upper-middle socioeconomic class neighborhoods. The parents participated in four 2-hour sessions which included factual information about sexuality and exercises to improve communication skills. The experimental group (N=47) were requested to fill out questionnaires immediately before and one month after the program. The control group (N=17) were requested to fill out questionnaires one month before and again immediately before the program. Parents were asked to report the number of times they talked with their adolescents about 11 sex-related topics. The difference in reported frequency of communication before and after the program was compared using a two-tailed, matched pairs t-test. Twenty-four (51%) experimental group parents and eight (47%) control group parents completed both questionnaires. There was a significant increase in communication reported by the experimental group. The mean difference of the number of topics discussed was 10.9 (SD 7.3) for participants versus -2.5 (SD 5.9) for controls (p=.00053). This study shows that parent-child communication about sex can be facilitated by an educational program for parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-630
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Volume29
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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