Online Program

Trends in Parent-Child Sex Communication: A Systematic Review, 2003-2014

Sunday, November 1, 2015

D.Dennis Flores III, MSN, ACRN, School of Nursing, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC
Background: Conversations between parents and children about sex can relay family expectations and underscore risk reduction strategies. Parent-child sex communication’s (PCSC) potential to curb negative health outcomes has sustained a multidisciplinary effort to assess its impact on the development of healthy sexual attitudes and behaviors among adolescents. Novel theoretical and empirical findings have been published and now require critical analysis and synthesis. This review will summarize PCSC studies and appraise literature published from 2003 to 2014.

Methods: Using CINAHL, PsycInfo and Pubmed, the key-terms “parent child” AND “sex education” were entered for initial query; 130 original articles were included for analysis. Study findings were abstracted into a matrix to determine content, process, and predictors of PCSC, including its effects on adolescents.

Results: Parent and child gender, race, parental education, prior communication from their own parents, and embarrassment continue to determine the process and content of sex conversations in the home. Mothers talk more to their children about sex than fathers and parents more often talk about sex only after physical and behavioral changes in children have been observed. Messages for sons are more permissive about sex while daughters receive more restrictive instructions. There is discrepancy in parent and child reports about PCSC frequency and quality.

Conclusions: Findings confirm that variability in how PCSC occurs may be lost opportunities in helping children transition into young adults with normative sexual needs. Understanding PCSC typologies based on familial intricacies may assist with formulating ways to facilitate these discussions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers and facilitators to help parents address sexual health risks with their adolescent children based on the most current published literature. Also, to describe how providers can teach parents effective strategies to broach sexual health concerns with adolescents and how to maintain these conversations in the home.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am nationally-certified HIV/AIDS nurse who has several years experience in addressing sexual health needs of adolescents. I am a current PhD student who has extensive knowledge about parent-child sex communication. My advocacy work with the CDC and Kaiser Family Foundation is related to the abstract submitted.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.