High School Adolescents' Perceptions of the Parent–Child Sex Talk: How Communication, Relational, and Family Factors Relate to Sexual Health

Amanda Holman, Jody Koenig Kellas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


This research focuses on how high school adolescents' (n = 159) perceptions of parent–adolescent communication about sex, including communication frequency, parent–child closeness, parents' communication competence and effectiveness, as well as the larger family environment relates to sexual risk-taking and permissive sexual attitudes. Findings show that perceived parental communication competence and effectiveness were the strongest negative predictors of adolescents' permissive sexual attitudes and sexual risk-taking, whereas peer communication frequency was a significant positive predictor. In contrast with previous research, adolescents' perception of parent communication frequency and family communication climate (e.g., conversation orientation and conformity orientation) was unrelated to adolescents' sexual risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-403
Number of pages16
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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