Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 339–351

Communication with Best Friends About Sex-Related Topics During Emerging Adulthood


    • Department of Human Development and Family StudiesPennsylvania State University
  • Tanya L. Boone
    • Department of PsychologyCalifornia State University
  • Cindy L. Shearer
    • Department of Human Development and Family StudiesPennsylvania State University

DOI: 10.1023/B:JOYO.0000032642.27242.c1

Cite this article as:
Lefkowitz, E.S., Boone, T.L. & Shearer, C.L. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2004) 33: 339. doi:10.1023/B:JOYO.0000032642.27242.c1


During emerging adulthood, relationships with close friends may be particularly important and influential, yet most research on communication about sex-related topics focuses on emerging adults' communication with parents. Two hundred and five college students (61% female, mean age = 20.5) completed surveys about the frequency and quality of their sex-related conversations with same-sex best friends, and their sexual attitudes and behaviors. These conversations were more frequent between females, and between less religious youth. Sexually active youth discussed most topics more frequently than abstinent youth, although abstinent youth discussed abstinence more frequently. More frequent and comfortable conversations were generally associated with more liberal sexual attitudes, and more positive condom-related attitudes. Differential associations between the specific topics discussed and attitudes about sexuality, HIV, and condoms highlight the importance of examining multiple dimensions of sex-related communication rather than the unidimensional measures typically employed.

emerging adulthoodsexualitycommunicationpeers

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004