Mothers' and adolescent daughters' perceptions of communication about sex.

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Mothers' and adolescent daughters' perceptions of communication about sex.

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Drawing upon Consensual Qualitative Research methods (CQR; Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997), this qualitative study examined mothers' and adolescent daughters' perceptions of their communication about sex. Fifteen Mother and daughter dyads ( n = 15 mothers, n = 15 daughters) from a major Midwestern metropolitan area participated in individual, semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and later transcribed. Transcriptions were manually analyzed using CQR techniques to extract major domains and categories. Domains and categories were compared between mother-daughter dyads and across mothers and daughters using cross-case analysis procedures. Data analysis and consensus procedures yielded 17 domains and 55 categories for mothers and 15 domains and 44 categories for daughters. Findings revealed that mothers and daughters perceived mother-daughter communication about sex as more complex than their communication about other topics. Mothers and daughters described little or no discussion about intimacy and/or pleasure as it relates to sex and sexuality. Furthermore, they described discomfort (e.g., vulnerability, awkwardness, uncertainty) related to discussing sex, feelings that are unique to this topic (at least with respect to their frequency and intensity). Mother and daughters struggled with self-disclosure boundaries. They worried about each other's reactions and the consequences of what they expressed during discussions about sex-related topics. Mothers expressed ambivalence, for instance, wishing to talk with their daughters about sex, but not wanting them to actually know about sex. Overall, mothers and daughters wished to improve their communication about sex. Although mothers and daughters seemed to share similar perspectives on the process of their mother-daughter communication about sex, they appeared to disagree on the content of their communication. Consistent with prior research, overall level of dyadic agreement was low. Major findings are discussed and practice implications and research recommendations are presented.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2008. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Dr. Patricia McCarthy Veach. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 231 pages.

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Kody, Carli Alanna Braun. (2008). Mothers' and adolescent daughters' perceptions of communication about sex.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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