Title"You've Gotta be Careful": Familial Messages Regarding Sexual Behavior and Sexual Relationships among African American Adolescents.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsHarper, GW, Motley, DN, Tyler, ATimmons, Tyler, DH, Catania, JA, Dolcini, MM
JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
Date Published03/2019

BACKGROUND: Research on the sexual behaviors of African American youth has primarily focused on associated risks, with a dearth of studies examining a fuller representation of African American adolescents' sexual lives. This study explored the range of messages African American adolescents receive from family members regarding sexual behavior and sexual relationships.

METHODS: Participants were 52 sexually experienced African American youth (male = 32, female = 20) between the ages of 15 and 17 recruited from community-based organizations in the United States. Youth participated in individual in-depth qualitative interviews, and data were analyzed using a phenomenological framework.

RESULTS: Participants received a variety of messages about sexual behavior and sexual relationships from a range of family members including parents, siblings, grandmothers, aunts/uncles, and cousins. Types of messages clustered into three domains: sexual decision-making, quantity and quality of sexual activity, and sexual health promotion; with themes and sub-themes emerging within each area.

CONCLUSION: Gender differences in the types of messages received are explored, and applications of the findings to the development of family-involved community interventions that promote sexual and reproductive health are discussed.

Alternate JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
PubMed ID30935043
Grant ListR01 HD061027-01 / / National Institutes of Health /