Essay on Parent Child Communication

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The instruments: content of talking about sex
Nine quantitative research papers focused on the contents of parent-child communication about sex. Six papers focused on parent-child pairs. A number of researchers used a range of different topics to assess whether or not parents had ever discussed the topic with their children. For example, ten items of content and ten items of process of communication between mother and adolescents were established by Miller et al. (1998a), with the aim to measure which sex-related topics were discussed and how their content was transmitted. The same research team used the instruments with various groups of participants. For examples, Dutra et al. (1999) used the content and process instruments to measure
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Five of these papers collected data in the USA, only Atienzo et al. (2009) collected data with Mexican teenagers who were in the first year of secondary school. Two of these studies focused on older teenagers (Hutchinson, 2002; Clawson & Reese-Weber, 2003). Hovell et al. (1994) and Miller et al. (1998b) focused on teenagers aged 14-17 years, Only Beckett et al. (2010) collected data with parent-child pairs. All studies aimed to examine the influence of timing of parent-child communication about sex and the sexual risk taking.

In measuring timing of parent-child communication about sex, it seems that most studies used timing of discussions compared to the time of sexual initiation. For example, Hutchinson (2002, page 202) used one yes/ no question asking about ‘did your parents talk to you about sex before you started having sex’. While Clawson and Reese-Weber (2003) used open-ended questions to ask teenagers the age that parents first discussed nine sexual topics, then the time compared to the age of sexual initiation. If parents discussed sex-related topics before the teenagers began having sex the score would be ‘report on time’, but if parents did after the teenagers had started having sex the score would ‘report off time’. Atienzo et al. (2009) applied the procedure developed by Clawson and Reese-Weber (2003, page 113) to ask sexually active Mexican teenagers, in the first year of

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