Parent-adolescent sexual communication: Associations of condom use with condom discussions

Wendy Hadley, Larry K. Brown, Celia M. Lescano, Harrison Kell, Kirsten Spalding, Ralph Diclemente, Geri Donenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the relationship between parent-teen sexual communication, discussion of condoms, and condom use among adolescents in mental health treatment. Adolescents with a history of sexual intercourse and their parents completed questionnaires assessing adolescent sexual risk behavior, sexual communication, and discussion of sexual topics. Greater condom use by adolescents was associated with parent-adolescent condom discussion but was not associated with openness in sexual communication. Seventy-six percent of adolescents reported that parents had discussed condoms with them and these discussions were significantly associated with protected sexual acts. In a logistic regression, accounting for age, gender, race, and psychiatric diagnosis teens that discussed condoms with their parent were more likely to report condom use at last sex. Increasing direct communication about condoms may be an important step in increasing adolescent's safer sex behavior. Mental health disorders and family distress may make such discussions challenging but are not an insurmountable barrier to direct discussions about condoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1004
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Communication
  • Family research
  • Mental health
  • Protected sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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