Parent-child quality of sex-related communication before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on parent–child sexual communication has increased in recent years, but we know almost nothing about whether parents correctly perceive the quality of sex-related communication with their children. In the present study, I investigated by longitudinal research whether parents correctly perceive the quality of sex-related communication with their children, whether COVID-19 affects the quality of sex-related communication between parents and children, and the congruence in the perceptions of this quality. The sample comprised 300 Israeli families [triad of mothers, fathers, and one adolescent (39% boys, 61% girls; age 14–18)]. Results indicate that adolescents reported more dysfunctional parent–child communication about sex with their fathers, especially within father-son relationships. Moreover, I found that parent–child congruence was surprisingly high and highly dependent on parents’ and children's gender and the family's religiosity. The COVID-19 pandemic positively affected father-child communication, supposedly because of greater paternal involvement. These findings highlight an important and understudied topic in the hope of motivating additional researchers and practitioners to adopt a familial, microsystem perspective on healthy sexual development. This view holds great promise in promoting normal sexual development and decreasing risky sexual behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107105
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume153
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Communication
  • Parents
  • Sexuality

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