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Title: Do parents talk to their adolescent children about sex?-findings from a community survey in Singapore
Authors: Hu, Y.
Wong, M.L. 
Prema, V.
Wong, M.L.
Fong, N.P. 
Tsai, F.F.
Vijaya, K.
Keywords: Abstinence
Condom use
Confidence level
Parent-child sexuality communication
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Citation: Hu, Y.,Wong, M.L.,Prema, V.,Wong, M.L.,Fong, N.P.,Tsai, F.F.,Vijaya, K. (2012-06). Do parents talk to their adolescent children about sex?-findings from a community survey in Singapore. Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore 41 (6) : 239-246. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: Sexually transmitted infections have increased sharply among adolescents both locally and internationally in recent years. Parents play an important role in their children's sexual health development. An integral part of this includes effective parent-child sexuality communication. Materials and Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional community-based household survey was conducted in Singapore between August 2008 and March 2009 to assess parents'/caregivers' attitudes and practices regarding caregiver-child sexuality communication. With an overall response rate of 81.4%, 1169 questionnaires from parents/caregivers of children aged 10 to 17 years were analysed. Results: Almost all (94.2%) the caregivers were parents. A majority (>80%) of caregivers considered talking to their children about sexuality issues such as abstinence, consequences of premarital sex and condom use as important. However, a significantly lower percentage (about 60%) felt comfortable and confident doing so. Only 8.3% among them discussed sexual health issues with their children very often, 37.2% sometimes, 22.0% seldom/hardly ever (once or twice) and 32.5% never, in the past year. In the multivariate analysis, caregiver-child sexuality communication was significantly associated with caregivers' relationship to children, ethnicity, educational level, and their perceived levels of comfort and confidence in sexuality communication. Conclusion: Caregivers generally felt it was important but were significantly much less comfortable and confident talking about sexuality issues with their children, which leads to a lower frequency of caregiver-child sexuality communication. Educational programmes on adolescent sexual health targeting parents/caregivers are needed. They must be equipped with skills and provided with resources to enable them to talk to their adolescent children about sexuality.
Source Title: Annals of the Academy of Medicine Singapore
ISSN: 03044602
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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