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Table 4 Determinants of Parent-Child Communication about Sex, by Gender of Parent and Gender of Child

From: Mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters: gender differences in factors associated with parent-child communication about sexual topics

Determinantsa Percent (%) Overall q-values
  Fathers Mothers By gender of parent By gender of teen
  Sons Daughters Sons Daughters Mothers of sons vs. fathers of sons Mothers of daughters vs. fathers of daughters Fathers of sons vs. fathers of daughters Mothers of sons vs. mothers of daughters
Perception of threat
Parent attitudes toward teen sex (% strongly agree)         
   Sexual activity is likely to have harmful effects for teens 32.5 38.4 37.6 50.0 0.012* 0.019* 0.001* 0.002*
   Disapprove of child being sexually active as teenager 55.7 74.7 62.0 76.4 0.182 0.448 0.000* 0.000*
Perceived risk child will have sex as young teen (% very likely or somewhat likely) 35.0 12.4 28.3 12.6 0.125 0.796 0.000* 0.000*
Expected outcomes of talking
(% strongly agree)         
   Child will be less likely to have sex as a young teen 39.8 49.9 47.2 59.0 0.032* 0.122 0.046* 0.003*
   Child would understand the benefits of waiting 27.8 37.4 33.0 49.2 0.193 0.020* 0.022* 0.000*
   Child will listenb 23.4 25.1 27.7 34.9 0.601 0.002* 0.457 0.107
   Child will not think you are judgmental 18.1 18.7 19.8 24.2 0.502 0.025* 0.168 0.228
   Child will not think you are a hypocriteb 27.4 26.1 33.6 36.0 0.122 0.047* 0.171 0.860
   Child would not rebel and want to have sex even moreb 32.2 39.9 37.1 43.9 0.484 0.701 0.193 0.195
Barriers and facilitators
Shared activities with child (% at least once a week)         
   Gone shopping 43.7 33.6 56.7 62.8 0.000* 0.000* 0.015* 0.223
   Do homework or school projects 59.8 59.9 78.5 75.2 0.000* 0.000* 0.860 0.517
   Play a game or sport together 48.2 39.6 32.3 32.3 0.000* 0.185 0.071 0.417
   Gone to a movie, sporting event, etc. 25.8 18.2 26.4 23.4 0.187 0.195 0.084 0.493
   Watched an entire TV show together 74.7 70.1 75.9 77.3 0.796 0.163 0.616 0.918
   Attend a party or family gathering together 21.8 21.7 20.5 23.9 0.493 0.054 0.839 0.502
Closeness to child (% always)         
   You and child make decisions about child's life together 30.2 24.1 38.6 42.3 0.003* 0.000* 0.253 0.295
   Child does not interfere with your activitiesb 35.6 32.1 43.2 43.7 0.214 0.007* 0.693 0.370
   You get along well with child 51.7 46.9 46.4 40.4 0.353 0.276 0.676 0.168
   You understand childb 17.2 12.3 13.8 15.1 0.539 0.693 0.457 0.488
   You feel you can really trust child 42.5 46.5 42.3 47.3 0.940 0.841 0.792 0.539
Conflict with child         
   In past 12 months, how often argued or had a fight (% 0-2 times) 46.5 41.6 30.7 29.9 0.000* 0.002* 0.659 0.697
Self-efficacy: how sure can explain various topics (% completely sure)         
   Ways to have fun with a partner without having sex 39.0 36.6 48.2 47.5 0.031* 0.003* 0.115 0.616
   Why he/she should wait until older to be sexually active 41.2 45.4 50.6 58.1 0.065 0.032* 0.350 0.163
   How to say no 29.1 49.3 37.9 56.3 0.163 0.090 0.000* 0.000*
   How to make a partner wait until child is ready 25.2 30.7 30.1 36.2 0.089 0.069 0.195 0.069
Barriers to communication (% strongly disagree)         
   You don't know enough 62.2 62.9 76.0 77.0 0.000* 0.001* 0.796 0.604
   It is difficult to find time to talkb 26.2 26.2 37.1 47.6 0.006* 0.000* 0.701 0.007*
   It would be difficult for you to explain things 30.8 28.0 43.1 51.8 0.002* 0.000* 0.084 0.028*
Beliefs about timing of talking (% strongly agree)         
   You are sure now is the right developmental time to talk 41.2 41.9 49.0 58.0 0.097 0.000* 0.909 0.072
  1. a In the table, the phrasing of some of the determinants is an abbreviated version of the actual questions in the questionnaire. The full wording is available from the authors upon request.
  2. b Reverse-coded.
  3. * q < .05.
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