Family Communication about Sex

Family communication about sex  - parent-child sexual risk communication, in particular – is a parenting practice which has been found to have a significant influence on adolescents' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to risk of and prevention of STIs and HIV (Hutchinson, 2007). Data on family communication about sex are obtained from parent and youth questionnaires, which may be administered at regular intervals (quarterly, for example).
At the individual level, performance may be monitored by comparing pretest scores with follow-up scores to determine whether responses on this indicator are moving in the desired direction. At the program level, performance may be monitored by comparing the percent of participants with strong communication skills at program intake with percents obtained on the same indicator at later intervals. Change over time for the current cohort may also be compared with that of previous cohorts, to further gauge levels of program effectiveness.

If this indicator does not appear to be improving at the individual or aggregate level during the course of the program, program managers may want to assess problems related to program design, implementation, and quality.

By ChildTrends

Surveys / Assessments


Sources Cited

Hutchinson, M. K. (2007). The Parent-Teen Sexual Risk Communication Scale (PTSRC-III): Instrument Development and Psychometrics. Nursing Research, 56, 1-8.