, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 649-662
Date: 11 Dec 2007

Patterns of Sexuality Communication Between Preadolescents and Their Mothers and Fathers

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The purpose of the current study was to examine communication about sexual topics between preadolescents and their mothers and fathers. Participants were 135 African-American mothers, fathers, and their 9- to 12-year-old offspring. Each member of the triad completed a 10-item measure of communication about risk factors for sexual activity, sexual communication, and sexual risk prevention. A majority of parents and their preadolescents reported communication had occurred about most topics. Mothers and fathers were equally likely to communicate with sons whereas mothers were more likely to communicate with daughters than were fathers. Based on the study results, preadolescence may be the optimal time for parents to provide sexual risk prevention messages to their children before sexual behaviors are initiated.