Parent-teen communication about premarital sex: Factors associated with the extent of communication

James Jaccard, Patricia J. Dittus, Vivian V. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-one parental and 16 adolescent topic-specific reservations that parents and adolescents may have about discussing sex and birth control were explored in a sample of 751 African American inner-city youths (14 to 17 years old) and their mothers. Both maternal and adolescent perspectives were obtained with regard to the prevalence of specific reservations and the extent to which they were predictive of communication behavior. Topic-specific reservations were predictive of communication behavior over and above more general family environment variables, such as the quality of the parent-teen relationship and the overall quality of communication in general. A number of interaction effects were found, suggesting a differential impact of reservations as a function of the age and gender of the adolescent. The types of reservations expressed by parents were not correspondent with the types of reservations expressed by adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-208
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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