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

TitleUnderstanding the relationship between religiosity and caregiver-adolescent communication about sex within African-American families.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRitchwood TD, Powell TW, Metzger IW, Dave G, Corbie-Smith G, Atujuna M, Schaaf EBVander, Wynn M, Lin F-C, Zhou W, Akers AY
JournalJ Child Fam Stud
Date Published2017 Nov

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.

Alternate JournalJ Child Fam Stud
PubMed ID29123360
PubMed Central IDPMC5673470
Grant ListU48 DP000040 / DP / NCCDPHP CDC HHS / United States
R25 MH083635 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R24 MD001671 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
R25 MH087217 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R25 DA035692 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
K24 HL105493 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH018869 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30 AI050410 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States