Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Models for Caring for Children and Adolescents
Developing a Web-Based Program to Help Mothers Communicate with Their Children about Sex
Mary F. Cox, PhD, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe the five essential components of parent-child communication (content, extent, style, context, timing)
Learning Objective #2: Identify 6 inherent challenges of using computer technology in patient education

Developing a Web-Based Program to Help Mothers
Communicate With Their Children about Sex

Purpose/Specific Aims: The specific aims of this study are: 1) To develop and test the feasibility of an 8-week web-based program that assists socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers in talking to their adolescent children about sex; and 2) To demonstrate the effects of the web-based program on improving mother-child communication about sex and sexual risk behavior in socioeconomically disadvantaged families.
Design/Methods: Constructs of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and Jaccard’s components of communication about sex were used to develop web-based intervention. The website offers gender specific, developmentally appropriate information for the mothers.  The website also includes factoids about adolescence, interactive elements, e-mail capability among women in the website group, ask-an-expert, question and answer page, a password-protected discussion board for group interaction where the nurse can post messages to facilitate discussion, personal stories from women of similar backgrounds, links to other sites of interest, and tailored messages. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the website uses easy-to-read communication principles to aid the mothers in their learning process (Doak et al., 1996).
This pre-test, post-test control group design study measures include demographic data; psychosocial measures (self-efficacy and social support); and knowledge and behavioral measures.
Findings: The findings of this study will provide preliminary data for a larger study to test the effects of a web-based intervention to improve mother-child communication about sex, which may, in turn, decrease adolescent sexual behavior.
Implications: The purpose of this project is to develop and refine a tailored website to assist socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers in talking to their children about sex. Findings from the project will guide development of a larger study assessing the effects of the website on adolescent sexual risk behaviors.