Talk with fathers about sex and relationships can support teens’ health, but its impact is limited as few fathers talk with their teens about sexual issues. Needs assessment and fathers’ input on intervention content and structure can guide the development of programs that support fathers’ health-promoting talk with their teen children about sex and relationships.
In this study, the researchers explored fathers’ goals in their talk with teens about sex and relationships and barriers they perceive to these conversations, as well as what they would look for in an intervention program. Interviews were conducted in the U.S. with 43 fathers of high school-aged teens (age 14-18). The interviews explored fathers’ roles in talk with teens, key messages to teens, and approaches and barriers to conversations, in addition to attitudes toward an intervention and feedback on intervention structure, content, and process.
The findings suggest that fathers see talk with teens about sex as part of their roles, but face challenges in accomplishing this goal. Fathers’ feedback highlights their openness to an intervention and can guide the development of a peer-based and interactive program that addresses how to talk with teens about sex in addition to the content of these conversations.
This research was funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: 1R21HD100807-01A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.