The Role of Parent-Adolescent Communication on the Sexual Behaviour of Young People in South Africa

Ntsiki Manzini, University of Natal
Audrey Pettifor, Reproductive Health Research Unit
Helen Rees, Reproductive Health Research Unit

This paper addresses the role of parent-adolescent communication on the sexual behaviour of young people in South Africa using data from 1435 adolescents and their parents or guardians in the 2001 South African National Youth survey. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression, controlling for socio-demographic factors addresses the following questions: To what extent is parent-adolescent communication taking place? Is parent-adolescent communication associated with lower levels of sexual risk behaviours among adolescents? Does the content of communication influence sexual behaviour? Is there a consensus in the reports given by parents and adolescents about communication? Do the attitudes of parents towards open communication on reproductive health issues influence their propensity to have discussions with their children. These findings enable us to draw conclusions for programme development as debates on risk avoidance have continued to emphasise the role of communication to promote safer sex.

Presented in Session 124: Parents and Adolescent Sexual Behavior