Parents’ Sources of Adolescent Sexual Health Information and Their Interest in Resources From Primary Care

Published:September 18, 2021DOI:



      To examine sources of information used by parents to facilitate parent-adolescent communication about sexual and reproductive health (SRH), parents’ preferences for receiving SRH information through primary care, and factors associated with parents’ interest in primary-care-based SRH information (ie, resources recommended or offered in the primary care setting).


      In this cross-sectional study, a nationally representative sample of 11–17-year-old adolescents and their parents (n = 1005 dyads) were surveyed online; 993 were retained for these analyses. Parents were asked about their use of 11 resources to help them talk with their adolescents about SRH and rated the likelihood of using specific primary-care-based resources. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine characteristics associated with parent interest in primary-care-based SRH resources.


      Only 25.8% of parents reported receiving at least a moderate amount of SRH information from primary care; half (53.3%) reported receiving no SRH information from their adolescent's provider. Parents received the most information from personal connections (eg, spouse/partner, friends). Most parents (59.1%) reported being likely to utilize a primary-care-based resource for SRH information. Parents who previously received SRH information from primary care sources had greater odds of reporting they would be likely to utilize a primary-care-based resources (AOR = 4.06, 95% CI: 2.55–6.46).


      This study provides insights into parents’ sources of information for communicating with their adolescents about SRH and ways primary care practices might increase support for parents in having SRH conversations with their adolescents. Future studies are needed to establish clinical best practices for promoting parent-adolescent communication about SRH.


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