"You have to give her that confidence": Conversations about sex in hispanic mother-daughter dyads

M. Diane McKee, Alison Karasz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


The considerable risk of negative consequences of unprotected intercourse underscores a need to better understand how Latina adolescent girls acquire the skills to manage the risks associated with sexuality. The authors used in-depth qualitative interviews with mothers and their daughters to examine communication related to sexuality with the goal of understanding the sociocultural and family context of Latina adolescents' sexual behavior and reproductive health care seeking. Mothers and daughters agree that sexual activity threatens girls' health and future and that open communication about sexuality is highly valued but difficult to achieve. Communication content tends to focus on the threats of sexual activity, but process is important. Strategies of effective communicators include deliberate creation of an atmosphere of approachability and a flow of information from daughter to mother.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-184
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Communication
  • Female adolescents
  • Mothers
  • Qualitative research
  • Sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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