Parents have been considered an underutilized resource for educating children about HIV prevention. Parents and other family members can play a critical role in prevention efforts by using effective parenting practices, communicating their values and expectations, and modeling strategies that reduce the risk of acquiring HIV. Despite the potential protective role of parent-child communication on adolescent sexual and drug use behavior, much remains unknown about the processes and contexts in which these communication encounters occur. This study will examine parent-adolescent communication about HIV prevention in families affected by HIV. Specifically, the project will use a mixed methods approach to identify the strategies parents living with HIV/AIDS use to discuss HIV prevention with their 10-17 year old adolescents. Whereas in-depth interviews will shed light on what motivates and/or prevents parents from discussing HIV prevention with adolescents, a questionnaire will collect information on theoretical concepts previously identified as important to research in this field. Overall, the specific aims of this project are as follows: 1. to describe the strategies parents living with HIV/AIDS use to communicate about HIV prevention 2. to compare parents'perceived effectiveness of those strategies to what current health communication/ health behavior research deems effective parent-adolescent communication, and 3. to identify barriers and facilitators to talking about HIV prevention in a family context, particularly those that may be unique to families affected by HIV/AIDS. This project will be useful in identifying ways to help parents more effectively communicate with adolescents about safer sex, drug use, and HIV infection. Thus, the project goals are highly relevant to NIMH's emphasis on interdisciplinary research designed to improve preventive behaviors and impact HIV risk-reduction. The project findings can also be used to "better understand the psychosocial needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS."

Public Health Relevance

This project draws upon the fields of health communication, public health, and family studies. Findings from this study will be important to both researchers and practitioners in public health. Results will also be disseminated to parents in the community and can be used to help inform future HIV prevention interventions which focus on parent-adolescent sexual communication.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships (ADAMHA) (F30)
Project #
5F30MH086364-05
Application #
8477074
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-C (22))
Program Officer
Stoff, David M
Project Start
2009-06-16
Project End
2014-06-15
Budget Start
2013-06-16
Budget End
2014-06-15
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$47,232
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
041544081
City
Champaign
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
61820