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01-11-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2007

Mother-Adolescent Health Communication: Are All Conversations Created Equally?

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2007
Tanya L. Boone, Eva S. Lefkowitz
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Tanya L. Boone is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at California State University, Bakersfield. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from The Pennsylvania State University. Her major research interests include adolescent risk behaviors and the influences on such behaviors, with a focus on family influences.
Eva S. Lefkowitz is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her major research interests include the development of attitudes, behaviors, and relationships during adolescence and emerging adulthood.


Fifty-two mother-adolescent dyads (mean adolescent age = 16.3) participated in an observational study of communication about health topics. The aim of the study was to examine mother-adolescent conversations about health issues—drugs/alcohol, sexuality, nutrition/exercise—to determine the extent to which the mothers treat these issues similarly. Across conversations, mothers spent more time asking questions than lecturing or discussing negative consequences. Mothers discussed negative consequences less in the nutrition/exercise and sexuality conversations than in the drug/alcohol conversation. Mothers asked fewer questions when discussing nutrition/exercise than drugs/alcohol, and lectured more in the nutrition/exercise conversation than in the sexuality conversation. The results of this study have implications for intervention programmers advocating in the media that parents “talk to your kids” about these health issues.

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