Sexual and reproductive health communication: Perspectives of Cambodian American daughters and mothers

Awarded 2012
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Lin-Fan Wang, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Objective: This qualitative study aims to 1) examine perspectives of Cambodian mothers and daughters regarding a mother’s role in educating her daughter about Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and 2) identify preferences regarding communication.
Study Design: This qualitative study used semi-structured focus groups conducted with unmatched Cambodian mothers and young women. Between November 2012 and February 2013, we conducted one group with Cambodian American adolescents (6 participants), and one group with Cambodian mothers (9 participants). The focus group included open-ended questions about mother-daughter communication about SRH and preferences for health education. Sessions were audio-recorded. The adolescent group was conducted in English, and the audio-recording was transcribed into English. The group with mothers was conducted in Khmer, and the audio-recording was transcribed into Khmer then translated into English. Data were analyzed using NVIVO 10 software using the modified grounded theory approach to qualitative data analysis. The Einstein IRB approved this study.
Results: Five major themes emerged from the focus groups: 1) perception on adolescence and the effect on mother-daughter relationships, 2) the content and style of mother-daughter communication, 3) barriers to and facilitators of communication, 4) the influence of Cambodian tradition and culture, and 5) preferences on sources of information about SRH.
Conclusion: Both Cambodian American mothers and daughters believed that SRH knowledge is needed and important. However, they believed that factual information about SRH should be provided by schools and healthcare providers.