PURPOSE: We reviewed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI)- behavioral interventions implemented with disproportionately affected black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino youth and designed to improve parent-child communications about sex. We compared their effectiveness in improving sex-related behavior or cognitive outcomes.
METHODS: A search of electronic databases identified peer-reviewed studies published between 1988 and 2012. Eligible studies were U.S.-based parent-child communication interventions with active parent components, experimental and quasiexperimental designs, measurement of youth sexual health outcomes, and enrollment of > 50% black/African-American or Hispanic/Latino youth. We conducted systematic, primary reviews of eligible papers to abstract data on study characteristics and youth outcomes.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies evaluating 14 interventions were eligible. Although youth outcome measures and follow-up times varied, 13 of 15 studies (87%) showed at least one significantly improved youth sexual health outcome compared with controls (p < .05). Common components of effective interventions included joint parent and child session attendance, promotion of parent/family involvement, sexuality education for parents, developmental and/or cultural tailoring, and opportunities for parents to practice new communication skills with their youth.
CONCLUSIONS: Parent-child communication interventions that include parents of youth disproportionately affected by HIV/STIs can effectively reduce sexual risk for youth. These interventions may help reduce HIV/STI-related health disparities and improve sexual health outcomes.