Cover: Acculturation and Parent-Adolescent Communication About Sex in Filipino-American Families

Acculturation and Parent-Adolescent Communication About Sex in Filipino-American Families

A Community-Based Participatory Research Study

Published in: The Journal of Adolescent Health, v. 40, no. 6, June 2007, p. 543-550

Posted on on January 01, 2007

by Paul J. Chung, Raphael Travis, Shelly Dean Kilpatrick, Marc N. Elliott, Camillia Lui, Shefali B. Khandwala, Theresa M. Dancel, Lori Vollandt, Mark A. Schuster

PURPOSE: To examine whether acculturation is associated with parent-adolescent communication about sex in Filipino-American families. Filipino-Americans, the United States' second-largest Asian and Pacific Islander (API) group, have more adolescent pregnancy and HIV infection than other APIs. High-quality parent-adolescent communication about sex has been associated with healthy sexual development, and acculturation has been associated with various increased health risks. Whether acculturation affects parent-adolescent communication is unknown. METHODS: The authors surveyed 120 pairs of Filipino-American parents and adolescents at a single large high school. They asked adolescents about their frequency of parent-adolescent communication about sex and measured adolescent acculturation in two ways: disagreement with traditional Asian values and preferential use of English. In bivariate and multivariate regressions, the authors examined whether adolescent acculturation was associated with adolescent reports of parent-adolescent communication. RESULTS: Few adolescents (22%) reported regularly discussing sex with parents. Although most adolescents (72%) agreed with traditional Asian values, most (63%) preferred using English. In bivariate regressions, less parent-adolescent communication about sex was associated with less adolescent agreement with traditional Asian values (p = .002) and more adolescent English use (p = .009). In multivariate regressions, these associations were largely explained by adolescent perceptions of parent knowledge about their whereabouts and activities. CONCLUSIONS: Acculturation may influence Filipino-American parent-adolescent communication about sex and, consequently, Filipino-American adolescent sexual health. Health care and public health providers may need to tailor adolescent sexual health programs based on acculturation or other immigration-related factors.

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