Parental Monitoring as a Moderator of the Effect of Family Sexual Communication on Sexual Risk Behavior Among Adolescents in Psychiatric Care
Authors examined if parental monitoring moderated effects of family sexual communication on sexual risk behavior among adolescents in psychiatric care. Seven hundred and eighteen parents reported upon quality of family discussions about sex-related topics and degree to which they monitor teen behavior. Adolescents reported the frequency of their own safe sex practices. Parental monitoring moderated the family communication quality–sexual risk behavior relationship among African American families. African American parents who perceived themselves as capable of open family sexual communication and frequent monitoring had adolescents who reported decreased sexual risk behavior. The moderator model was not supported among Caucasian and Hispanic families and findings did not depend upon gender. For African Americans, findings support the influential role of family processes in development of teen sexual risk behavior and suggest, for parents of teens receiving mental health services, learning communication and monitoring skills may be critical to their adolescent’s sexual health.