Program

Jun 11, 2009

OVERVIEW

The Talking Parents, Healthy Teens program is a
workplace-based intervention for parents of adolescent children. The
intervention is aimed at helping parents learn how to discuss sexual health
topics with their children. In an evaluation of the intervention, 569 parents
were randomly assigned to either receive the Talking Parents, Healthy Teens
intervention or to a no-treatment control group. Results indicated that,
relative to the control parents, those receiving the intervention reported being
able to communicate better with their adolescents regarding sexual health
topics. Adolescents whose parents had received the intervention also reported
significantly better sex-related parent-adolescent communication relative to
control group adolescents. Finally, adolescents with parents in the control
group were significantly more likely to report having been taught to properly
use a condom relative to control group adolescents.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Parents with children in grades
6 through 10.

The Talking Parents, Healthy Teens intervention is a
workplace-based program for parents who have adolescent children. The program
is geared towards teaching parents how to discuss various sexual health topics
with their children. Parents are also instructed on how to teach their children
communication, assertiveness, and decision making skills, and on how to better
supervise and interact with their children. The program is implemented using
role-playing, instructional videotapes, games, and group discussions.
Participating parents attend eight, weekly, one-hour lunchtime sessions in their
office environments, and are also given home assignments. Sessions are
group-based and led by a facilitator and an assistant.

EVALUATION (S) OF PROGRAM

Schuster, M.A., Corona, R., Elliott, M.N., Kanouse, D.E.,
Eastman, K.L., Zhou, A.J., & Klein, D.J. (2008). Evaluation of Talking
Parents, Healthy Teens, a new worksite based parenting programme to promote
parent-adolescent communication about sexual health: Randomised controlled
trial. British Medical Journal, 337: a308.

Evaluated population: A total of 569 working parents and their
683 adolescents served as the sample for this evaluation. Parents were
recruited from 13 large public and private work sites in southern California.
Multiple adolescents from each family were able to participate in the study.

Of the parents who provided follow-up data (n = 535), 72%
were female, 49% were between the ages of 35 and 44, 39% had at least some
college education, and 31% had a household income of over $125,000 per year.
The race/ethnicity breakdown for these parents was as follows: 47% white, 17%
African-American, 16% Latino, and 14% Asian or Pacific Islander. Of the
adolescents who provided follow-up data (n = 627), 51% were female.

Approach: Parent participants were randomly
assigned to either receive the intervention or to a no-treatment control group.
Parents receiving the intervention participated in eight, weekly, hour-long
sessions. Sessions were administered during lunchtime and in the workplace
environment. Parents in the no-treatment control group did not receive an
intervention.

Parents and adolescents were assessed at baseline, and at
one-week, three-month, and nine-month follow-ups. They were asked to report on
whether they had discussed each of 24 sex-related topics, parent-adolescent
communication ability, and parent-adolescent communication openness.
Adolescents were also asked to report whether or not one of their parents had
showed them how to use condoms.

Results: Parent Reports:Post-intervention,
parents in the treatment group reported having discussed significantly more new
sexual topics with their adolescents than parents in the control group. Parents
receiving the intervention were also significantly less likely to have discussed
no new topics (8 vs. 29%) and significantly more likely to have discussed seven
or more new topics compared to the control group (38 vs. 8%) by the nine-month
post-intervention assessment. Parents in the intervention group were also
significantly more likely to report repeating sexual health topics
post-intervention and at the three- and nine-month follow-ups relative to
control group parents. Relative to control parents, those in the intervention
reported significant increases in their ability to talk with their adolescents
about sex-related topics at all follow-up assessment points. Finally, parents
in the intervention group reported significantly more openness of communication
about sexual matters post-intervention and at the three- and nine-month
follow-ups.

Adolescent Reports:Post-intervention, adolescents
in the intervention group reported having discussed significantly more new
sexual topics with their parents than adolescents in the control group.
Adolescents in the intervention group were significantly more likely to report
repeatedly discussing sexual health topics with their parents post-intervention
and at the three- and nine-month follow-ups relative to control group
participants. Intervention group adolescents were significantly more likely
than control group adolescents to report that their parents had taught them to
use a condom, and this difference had grown by the nine-month follow-up (29 vs.
5%). Finally, at the three- and nine-month follow-ups, adolescents in the
intervention group were significantly more likely than those in the control
group to report being able to talk to their parents about sex-related topics.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Information on implementing this program can be obtained
from:

M.A. Schuster

Children’s Hospital Boston

300 Longwood Ave.

Boston, MA 02115

e-mail: mark.schuster@childrens.harvard.edu

References:

Schuster, M.A., Corona, R., Elliott, M.N., Kanouse, D.E.,
Eastman, K.L., Zhou, A.J., & Klein, D.J. (2008). Evaluation of Talking
Parents, Healthy Teens, a new worksite based parenting programme to promote
parent-adolescent communication about sexual health: Randomised controlled
trial. British Medical Journal, 337: a308.

Schuster, M.A., Eastman, K.L., & Corona, R. (2006).
Talking Parents, Health Teens: A worksite-based program for parents to promote
adolescent sexual health. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(4), 1-10.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Middle School, High School,
Co-ed, White/Caucasian, Parent Training, Sexual Activity, Condom Use and
Contraception, Parent-Child Relationship, Parent or Family Component

Program information last updated on 6/11/09.