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Parent-Adolescent Relationships, Sexuality-Related Communication and Sexual Identity Development

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Title: Parent-Adolescent Relationships, Sexuality-Related Communication and Sexual Identity Development
Author: Pericak, Sandra A
Department: Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Program: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Advisor: Lollis, Susan
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate sexuality-related topics discussed and not discussed with mothers, the perceived importance placed on sexuality-related communication within families, and the influences of parent-adolescent attachment quality and sexuality-related communication on sexual identity development using a sample of female university students. One hundred and eighty six participants completed an online survey consisting of questionnaires assessing their attachment relationship with their mothers, sexuality-related topic communication, perceptions of family sex communication, and sexual identity development. Sexuality-related topics falling within the development and societal concerns and sexual safety domains were more likely to be discussed than topics within the experience of sex or solitary sex domains. Family sexuality-related communication was perceived as important and valuable. Overall, results of this study indicated that attachment quality was negatively associated with sexual identity exploration, frequency of sexuality-related discussion was related to greater identity commitment scores, and orientation toward family sex communication was associated with greater identity synthesis/integration.
Date: 2012-08
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