Parent-adolescent communication about sex: Retrospective reports by Latino college students

Marcela Raffaelli, Stephanie Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Latina female (n = 97) and Latino male (n = 69) college students (M age = 21.4 years) completed self-report surveys regarding family of origin experiences, including sexual communication with parents while growing up. Latino parents of this comparatively highly educated sample tended to use direct rather than indirect strategies for communicating about sexuality with their children. Young women reported higher levels of sexual communication with mothers while growing up than did young men, and respondents reported less communication with fathers than mothers. Among young women, sexual communication with mother was positively associated with non-Mexican origin and negatively associated with having older brothers living at home. In contrast, maternal education was positively associated with mother-son communication about sex. Paternal education and the absence of older brothers positively predicted communication with both sons and daughters. The analyses provide novel information regarding sexual communication in Latino families and suggest directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Latino families
  • Parent-child communication
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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