Predictors of Frequency of Sexual Health Communication: Perceptions from Early Adolescent Youth in Rural Arkansas
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Parent–child communication about sex-related themes can shape adolescents’ attitudes and beliefs, and have the potential to contribute to their decision either to engage in or abstain from sexual activity. Despite the burgeoning literature in this area, few studies have examined the issue as it pertains specifically to rural early adolescent youth. The current investigation addresses this gap by examining whether familial, situational, and sociodemographic factors were associated with youth’ perceptions of frequency of communication with parents about multiple sex-related topics among a rural population (N = 252). Multiple regression results suggest that being a female, being a youth of color, level of closeness with father and spending enough time with one’s father predicted increased frequency of sex-related communication between parent and child. Our findings show that situational and sociodemographic differences play a significant role in predicting frequency levels of sex communication. Intervention efforts aimed at rural early adolescent youth should be planned with such differences in mind.