Date of Award

Fall 11-15-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dawn Baunach

Second Advisor

Wendy Simonds

Third Advisor

Kathleen Roche


A greater understanding of how level of acculturation influences parent-teen sex communication is needed to implement effective teen pregnancy prevention and safer sex education. My research sought to examine how levels of acculturation into mainstream U.S. culture influence parent-teen sex communication among Latinos. I examined level of acculturation (via language preference and nativity) and gender of adolescents in relation to discussion of sex and specific sex topics with parents. More acculturated Latinos were more likely to discuss sex, STIs, saying no to sex, and condoms with their parents than those less acculturated Latinos. Greater acculturation was also associated with greater quantity of sex topics discussed with parents when compared to Latinos that preferred Spanish. Less acculturated Latinos in the sample were more likely to have never discussed sex with their parents compared to more acculturated Latinos. Latino participant’s gender was not a statistically significant predictor of parent-teen communication.