Objective: Urban Jamaican adolescent girls face significant risk for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Studies from the United States of America have found that parents influence adolescents’ sexual risk attitudes and behaviours through parent-child sexual communication and monitoring/ supervision. Data from an ongoing mother-daughter HIV risk reduction intervention study in Kingston, Jamaica identified an additional influence of adolescent girls’ sexual risk – maternal sexual role modelling (MSRM). As no reliable and valid questionnaires existed to measure MSRM, one was developed. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Jamaican Maternal Sexual Role Modelling questionnaire.
Method: Data were collected from 209 Jamaican female adolescents recruited from Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine parishes.
Results: The final 19-item Jamaican MSRM questionnaire was found to have excellent internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.89). Content validity expert ratings and modified kappa statistics were all 1.0. Principal component analysis identified a three-factor structure that accounted for 53.7% of the variance. Greater MSRM scale scores, indicating more positive and protective maternal sexual role modelling, were associated with less sexual experience, lower intentions to have sex, greater intentions to use condoms if having sex and greater condom use self-efficacy among adolescent girls.
Conclusion: The MSRM scale was found to be a reliable and valid measure of Jamaican adolescent females’ perceptions of their mothers’ sexual role modelling. Further research is needed to assess the reliability and validity of the instrument with other populations.