Parent-Targeted Interventions in Primary Care Improve Parent-Teen Communication on Alcohol and Sex

Posted on August 20, 2019

Parents often find it difficult to discuss sensitive but important topics regarding sex or drinking with their teenage children, and this affects the education of adolescents in these aspects. If youths are not adequately aware of nor prepared to be exposed to these behaviors, they may not be able to make appropriate decisions for themselves.

A recent study conducted has involved both parents and adolescents in order to develop effective interventions that will allow children to receive better education regarding risk-associated behaviors. Parents were paired with their adolescents and the pairs were split into three groups – sexual health intervention, alcohol intervention and control group.

Parents in the intervention groups were taught to write messages about sexual health or alcohol consumption that will help them communicate the information to their children. Health communicators followed-up with parents in these groups via phone calls, while participants in the control group were given standard medical care.

After four months, adolescents in the intervention groups felt that their parents have discussed about sex and alcohol with them more than those in the control group. Although the study was not long enough to discover the effects of increased parent-teen communication regarding sex and alcohol on the sexual and drinking habits of adolescents, it was able to show that the interventions helped to improve discussion of such issues between parents and their children.

The study has shown that short term interventions that target parents in the primary care setting can enhance the communication between parents and their children when it comes to sensitive and awkward topics. With further research, this could prove to be an effective way that helps parents to educate their offspring and guide them to engage in healthy behaviors.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Parenting

Source material from Science Daily