Understanding the relationship between religiosity and caregiver-adolescent communication about sex within African-American families.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Caregiver-adolescent communication about sex plays a critical role in the sexual socialization of youth. Many caregivers, however, do not engage their youth in such conversations, potentially placing them at risk for negative sexual health outcomes. Lack of caregiver-adolescent communication about sex may be particularly harmful for rural African American youth, as they often report early sex initiation and are disproportionately impacted by STIs. Moreover, sexual communication may be particularly challenging for families with strong religious backgrounds, potentially affecting the occurrence and breadth of topics covered during communication. Study aims were to: determine whether there was a relationship between caregiver religiosity and type of topics covered during communication about sex (e.g., general sexual health vs. positive aspects of sexuality) among 435 caregivers of early adolescent, African American youth; and if so, identify factors that might explain how religiosity affects communication about sex. Results indicated that caregiver religiosity was positively associated with communication about general, but not positive aspects of sexuality for caregivers of males. Attitudes towards communication about sex and open communication style mediated the relationship. There was no association between religiosity and communication about sex for caregivers of females. The findings from this study could provide a base to better understand and support the sexual socialization process within religious, African American families.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ritchwood, TD; Powell, TW; Metzger, IW; Dave, G; Corbie-Smith, G; Atujuna, M; Vander Schaaf, EB; Wynn, M; Lin, F-C; Zhou, W; Akers, AY

Published Date

  • November 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2979 - 2989

PubMed ID

  • 29123360

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5673470

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1062-1024

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10826-017-0810-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States