Mother-daughter communication about sex among urban African American and Latino families

Lucia F. O'Sullivan, Heino F.L. Meyer-Bahlburg, Beverly X. Watkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Urban minority girls are at considerable risk for the negative health consequences of early sexual activity. Yet few researchers have explored the sources of information about sexual issues for these adolescents, particularly parent-child communication. As part of a larger qualitative study examining social cognitions about sexuality among urban girls, 72 African American and Latina mothers and 72 daughters representing two age groups (6-9 and 10-13) participated in focus group sessions. Both mothers and daughters addressed the cues associated with the timing of these conversations in the course of the daughters' development; the content of their conversations, including the messages mothers used to influence girls' decision making; and the approaches or strategies both employed. The authors' analyses indicate that beneficial communication may be preempted by the antagonistic positions adopted by daughters and mothers as daughters advance sexually. Daughters may in fact benefit more from receiving sex education from other close sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducational and Psychological Research
Subtitle of host publicationA Cross-Section of Journal Articles for Analysis and Evaluation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351970273
ISBN (Print)9781884585456
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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