Family discussions about contraception and family planning: A qualitative exploration of black parent and adolescent perspectives

Aletha Y. Akers, Eleanor Schwarz, Sonya Borrero, Giselle Corbie-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

CONTEXT: Parent-adolescent communication is associated with increased adolescent contraceptive use. However, studies of this association are limited by their lack of examination of the communication process, reliance on cross-sectional designs and infrequent comparison of parent and adolescent perspectives. Examining communication in black families is particularly important, given the high pregnancy rate among black adolescents. METHODS: Between December 2007 and March 2008, a total of 21 focus groups were conducted with 53 black families (68 parents and 57 adolescents) in Pennsylvania. Separate groups were held for males and females, and for parents and adolescents. The discussion guide explored family communication about sexual health topics, including contraception, family planning and abortion. Sessions were audio-recorded; data were transcribed and analyzed using a grounded theory approach to content analysis and the constant comparison method. RESULTS: Five key themes emerged among both parents and adolescents. First, discussions about contraception were indirect and framed in terms of the need to avoid negative consequences of sex. Second, contraceptive knowledge was low. Third, parents more often reported helping male adolescents get condoms than helping females get contraceptives. Fourth, discussions emphasized planning for the future over contraception. Finally, negative attitudes toward abortion were prevalent. CONCLUSIONS: Parent-adolescent communication interventions should improve contraceptive knowledge, help parents understand the harmful effects of gender biases in information dissemination, and provide mothers and fathers with communication skills tailored to enhance the role they play in their adolescents' sexual development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalPerspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Family discussions about contraception and family planning: A qualitative exploration of black parent and adolescent perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this