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In 1991, the leading proponents of behavior change theories dominating HIV-related research (e.g., social learning theory, health belief model, theory of reasoned action) came to consensus on the eight variables that most strongly influence behavior change (44).
The program is provided at worksites as a means of reaching a large number of parents easily.Yet, many parents do not feel comfortable talking with their adolescents about sexual topics (25); when parents talk about these topics, they tend to lecture (26), possibly inhibiting open communication.Parents who feel more confident in their parentadolescent communication skills are more likely than less confident parents to engage in conversations about sex (27-29).In addition, parents use of open-ended questions is positively associated with adolescent engagement in conversations about sexuality (30).Despite the evidence for the protective role of parents in adolescent sexual health, most HIV and sex education programs targeted at teens have no role or a limited role for parents (4).Worksite-based health programs, such as weight reduction (41) and smoking cessation (42), have been successful in changing employees health-related behaviors.
Although some employers have programs to help employees with family issues, few have programs designed to address the needs of parents of adolescents. Additional advantages of the worksite setting include having the support of the workplace management, which can serve as a form of approval that makes the parenting program more inviting to employees.
As a result, there has been a push to develop parent-only programs (31-33), but few have actually been evaluated (26,34,35), and others are undergoing evaluation (36).
Our program adds to this growing number of parenting programs but is unique in that it is the only such program that we know of that is delivered at a parents workplace and is undergoing rigorous evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.
Parents generally have more contact than most other adults with their adolescents, are familiar with their adolescents attitudes and idiosyncrasies (or could be), and are invested in their childrens lives.
Given parents long-term perspective on the implications of their adolescents sexual health and development and their ability to retain and use knowledge and skills, parents have the potential to provide the ongoing reinforcement that time-limited youth programs can rarely offer.
For example, adolescents whose parents monitor them are more likely than others to initiate intercourse at later ages (6-8) and to have fewer partners and use condoms if they are sexually active (9-12).