Do mothers and teens disagree about sexual communication? A methodological reappraisal

Marcela Raffaelli, Lori A. Smart, Sarah C. Van Horn, Angela D. Hohbein, Jennifer E. Kline, Wei Lik Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated whether parent-teen disagreement in reports of sexual discussions is due to methodological factors. Forty-four mothers and their 12-to 15-year-old daughters (n = 18) and sons (n = 26) completed parallel questionnaires including measures of communication about 18 different sexual topics during the teen's entire life and during the past year. Analyses examined whether congruence rates were influenced by the use of global as compared to specific items, assessment of conversations during the teen's entire life as compared to the past year, and use of forced-choice as opposed to continuous-response categories. Taken as a whole, results support the notion that methodological limitations are partly responsible for lack of congruence in parent-teen reports. Suggestions for methodological improvements in future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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