Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lisa Armistead - Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Chris Henrich - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Frank Floyd


Parent child communications about sex play an important role in influencing adolescent’s sexual behaviors and attitudes. The present study was conducted to examine how sexual communications between African American mothers and their children change over a period of three years in the areas of sex education, communication about risk reduction, and child and parent report of responsiveness. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) analyses found significant linear or curvilinear trajectory in communication with sons and daughters in all areas. Gender differences were found such that daughters received more communication than sons. Furthermore, daugthers’ sexual maturation was found to be associated with a decrease in the rate of decline of communication about general sex information. For sons, mothers decreased in rates of responsiveness as sons got older; however, as sons’ sexual maturation increased, rates of declining responsiveness slowed down.