Impact of Parental Communication on African American Adolescent Sexual Behavior: A Mini Literature Review

  • Rhyanne S. McDadeEmail author
  • Rebecca A. Vidourek
  • Kavya S. Biradar
  • Keith A. King
  • Ashley A. Merianos


Many adolescents are engaging in risky sexual behaviors, which can ultimately lead to adverse health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted infections and/or teen pregnancy. Research has shown that youth aged 15–24 account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections acquired each year in the United States. This paper examined the effect of parental communication on African American adolescent sexual behaviors. A narrative literature review was completed in order to identify common themes across articles. Analyses indicated parental communication is associated with increased safe sex practices. More specifically, breadth of content, and open parental communication style were shown to be associated with safer sex practices. However, frequency/timing of parental teen sexual communication (PTSC) was not examined within the selected articles. Additionally, results indicated significant differences in PTSC topics discussed between male and female adolescents. Researchers and health educators alike should consider parental involvement in community and school-based sex education programs to help increase adolescent safe sex practices.


African Americans Sexual behaviors Teen pregnancy Parental-communication 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to report for this study.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable. No individual participants were included in this study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine and Clinical PsychologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Health Promotion and EducationUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.College of MedicineUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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