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Parent-Adolescent Congruency in Reports of Adolescent Sexual Behavior and in Communications about Sexual Behavior

James Jaccard, Patricia J. Dittus and Vivian V. Gordon
Child Development
Vol. 69, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 247-261
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1132083
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1132083
Page Count: 15
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Parent-Adolescent Congruency in Reports of Adolescent Sexual Behavior and in Communications about Sexual Behavior
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Abstract

Agreement between mothers' and adolescents' reports of communication about sex, satisfaction with the parent-child relationship, maternal disapproval of adolescent sexual activity, and adolescent sexual behavior was investigated in a sample of 745 African American adolescents (ages 14-17) and their mothers. Congruence between the 2 sets of reports tended to be low. Adolescent perceptions and reports were found to be more predictive of adolescent sexual behavior than maternal reports. Mothers tended to underestimate the sexual activity of their teens and teens tended to underestimate their mothers' level of disapproval of their engaging in sexual activity. Reasons for these misperceptions were explored.

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