Validation of a Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale for Use in STD/HIV Prevention Interventions

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Abstract

This study reports on the validation of a scale to assess adolescent girls' frequency of sexual communication with their parents. The Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale (PACS) was administered to 522 African American female adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 18. The PACS demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency (across multiple administrations) and acceptable test-retest reliability over a 12-month follow-up period. Concurrently, scores on the PACS were correlated with frequency of sexual communication with partner, sexual communication self-efficacy (boyfriend), perceived parental knowledge, family support, depression, and condom use with steady male sex partners. Prospectively, baseline PACS scores were correlated with frequency of sexual communication with partner and condom use. The present investigation indicates that the PACS is a reliable and valid measure of frequency of sexual communication between female adolescents and their parents. Utility of the PACS for researchers and practitioners is discussed.

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