• sex-based communication;
  • adolescents;
  • HIV prevention


We examined how African-American mothers' discussions with their adolescents about sex moderated the relationship between adolescents' sex-based discussions with their friends and adolescents' involvement in sexual behaviors. The 425 African-American adolescents were 12 through 15 years of age and had participated in an HIV prevention research project with their mothers. Linear and logistic regression analyses showed that, for girls, age, discussions with friends, and the interaction between mother and friend's sex-based discussions were statistically significant predictors of sexual behaviors. These findings suggest that the level of discussion with mothers had a moderating effect on the relationship between friends' discussions about sex and a girl's involvement in sexual behaviors. Although these results were not apparent for boys, there was a strong relationship between discussions with friends about sex and sexual behaviors among boys. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 30: 193–202, 2007