Validation of a partner sexual communication scale for use in HIV/AIDS prevention interventions

Robin R. Milhausen, Jessica McDermott Sales, Gina M. Wingood, Ralph J. DiClemente, Laura F. Salazar, Richard A. Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on three studies in which the Partner Communication Scale (PCS) is validated. The PCS assesses African American adolescent females' frequency of sexual communication with male sex partners. The PCS was administered to three samples of African American female adolescents (N = 522; N= 280; N= 715) ranging in age from 14 to 21. The PCS demonstrated strong internal consistency and acceptable stability over 6-month and 12-month follow-up periods. Scores on the PCS were correlated with frequency of parent communication, sexual communication self-efficacy, sexual refusal self-efficacy, fear of communication about condoms, partner-related barriers to condom use, relationship satisfaction, self-esteem, exposure to communication-related sex education in schools and condom use, particularly with nonsteady male sex partners. The present investigation indicates that the PCS is a reliable and valid measure of frequency of sexual communication for female adolescents with their male sex partners. Future research with the PCS with more diverse samples in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation will be useful to establish its reliability and validity for these adolescent subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-33
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children and Youth
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2007


  • Adolescent
  • Sexual communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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