Teaching parents to talk to their children about sexual topics

Alicce C. Thornton, Jana D. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Implications of current research suggest that family-based interventions to reduce sexual risk-taking behaviors in adolescence is an attractive alternative to other individual-level interventions. Parents and family members can serve as a source of consistency in their child's life and have the ability to provide developmentally appropriate information throughout the life cycle. By taking advantage of teachable moments, parents can serve as an ongoing source of support and information, providing a moral context for sexual evelopment and behavior. Parents struggle with what to teach their child and when and typically choose to address sexuality issues in the "big talk" that happens when the child is about to reach adolescence. Physicians can encourage parents to start discussions on sexuality early in the child's life and to gradually build and expand on each concept as the child matures. By educating parents with evelopmentally appropriate information throughout the life cycle, physicians can assist parents in maintaining open dialog with their child as new feelings, pressures, and situations arise. Equipping parents with this knowledge fosters the development of healthy sexuality in children across the life course. Box 3 provides a sample of possible resources for physicians to offer to parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-819
Number of pages19
JournalClinics in Family Practice
Issue number4 SPEC.ISS.
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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