Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

The Role of African American Social Networks in Adolescent Sex Education and Parental Monitoring

George, Anne Elizabeth (2009) The Role of African American Social Networks in Adolescent Sex Education and Parental Monitoring. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (288kB) | Preview


Background: Parental sex communication and parental monitoring are associated with reduced adverse adolescent sexual health outcomes. Little is known about cultural nuances of these parenting skills within the African American community. Also, few studies have examined how non-parent adults function as sex educators and monitors of adolescent activity. Objective: To examine the process, barriers, and facilitators of sex education and monitoring by adults within African American adolescents' social networks as part of a larger study to develop a parent-targeted intervention to improve these parenting skills. Methods: We conducted 21 focus groups between December 2007- March 2008 with African American parents from Allegheny County Pennsylvania and their adolescents aged 15-17. Participants were recruited through community organizations, health centers and media advertisements. We used a directed approach to content analysis. Results: Parents felt community monitoring of children occurs less than when they were children. Parents expressed the need for more communication between parents and members of their children's social networks regarding the monitoring of their adolescents. Mothers often act as confidants for their children's friends but struggle over whether to disclose information revealed during these discussions to another child's parents. Fathers advise and role model expected social and sexual behaviors to their children and their friends informally as the children are hanging out. Parents work together using "parent networks" to monitor youth in thecommunity. Conclusions: African American parents feel their communities and social networks could play a greater role in monitoring children's social and sexual development. Parent-targeted interventions should be tailored to address the different styles mothers and fathers use to communicate with and monitor their children. Public Health Significance: Further understanding of how non-parent adults within the African American community influence adolescent sexual behavior will enable public health professionals to appropriately incorporate non-parent adults into intervention design, therefore increasing the likelihood of decreasing adverse sexual health outcomes among African American adolescents.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
George, Anne
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberAkers,
Committee MemberAbatemarco, Dianedja17@pitt.eduDJA17
Committee MemberSonger, Thomastjs@pitt.eduTJS
Date: 29 January 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 December 2008
Approval Date: 29 January 2009
Submission Date: 5 December 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: African American adolescents; sexual health; social networks
Other ID:, etd-12052008-152119
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item