Title

Sexual Health Communication Within Religious African-American Families

Abstract

While research suggests youth prefer parents and family members to serve as the primary sources of sexual health information, fear and discomfort around discussing sex with their parents may leave youth misinformed and underinformed. This study explored sexual heath communication within religious African-American families. Thirty adolescents participated in four focus groups, and 19 adults and 30 adolescents participated in six focus groups, at two predominantly African-American Christian churches in Flint, MI. All data were analyzed inductively using a constant comparison approach. Nearly all participants reported attending church weekly. Three themes emerged and are described: initiating sex talks, using mistakes as teaching tools, and clarifying prevention messages. Participants highlighted the need for religious parents to offer both religious and practical guidance to adolescents about sexual health. Findings from this study may be used to inform future sexual health promotion interventions for religious African-American families.

Publication Title

Health Communication

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