All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lynda A Wilson

Advisory Committee Members

Andres Azuero

Gwendolyn D Childs

Carol J Dashiff

Susan L Davies

Antonia M Villarruel

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


The quantity and quality of parent-adolescent sexual communication has been suggested as the best predictor on adolescent sexual behavior. The purpose of this study was to test a theoretical model based on the Parent-Based Expansion of the Theory of Planned Behavior (PETPB) examining relationships between selected parental, adolescent and cultural variables and Latino adolescents' intentions to engage in sexual behavior. This study used a cross-sectional correlational design based on a secondary data analysis of 130 Latino parent and adolescent dyads. Regression and path analysis procedures were used to test seven research hypotheses and the results demonstrated partial support for the PETPB theory. For example, parent familism and parent knowledge about pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease were significantly associated with parents' attitudes toward sexual communication with their adolescents. Adolescent knowledge about pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease was significantly associated with higher levels of adolescents' attitudes and subjective norms about sexual communication with parents. Only the predictor of adolescents' attitudes toward having sex in the next 3 months was significantly associated with adolescents' intentions to have sex in the next 3 months. Findings suggested that girls who reported higher levels of parent-adolescent sexual communication were less likely to report favorable attitudes about having sex in the next 3 months; while, boys who reported higher levels parent-adolescent sexual communication were more likely to report positive attitudes to initiate sex in the next 3 months. The present study contributed to filling some of the gaps identified in the review of existing literature such as analyzing adolescents' and parents' reports of parent-adolescent general communication, sexual communication, and comfort with sexual communication, sample of parent/adolescent PETPB theory with and testing the Latino dyads living in the United States. Future studies should continue to explore the influence of parental communication on Latino adolescent sexual behavior based on adolescent gender.

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