Kelbi and Rick walking on the beach at Morro Bay

Research Interests

Dr. Tanya Boone
Associate Professor


Research Interests

Applied Experience

Department of Psychology

California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, California 93311
(661) 654-2366
Parent-Adolescent Communication and Adolescent Behavior

What are the factors that contribute to the risky behaviors of adolescents? Do the communication patterns of parents make a difference? Socialization of adolescents and emerging adults regarding sensitive issues such as sexuality and drug/alcohol use has been a major focus of my research. Specifically, using observational methods, I have addressed the following questions:

  • In what ways do the socialization practices of parents and peers add to our understanding of sexual risk among adolescents and emerging adults?
  • What do mothers and adolescents talk about when discussing sexuality, and how do these topics relate to adolescents' sexual risk?
  • In what ways does the quality and affective nature of mother-adolescent sexuality communication relate to risky adolescent sexual attitudes and behaviors?
In addition to exploring parental socialization of adolescents around these issues, I have examined the role of peers and other sources such as schools and media. Further, I have recently begun exploring the role of parents in the development of adolescents' and emerging adults' spirituality.

Adolescent and Emerging Adult Relationships

What are the characteristics of adolescent and emerging adult relationships that put them at risk? Currently, I am working on research examining the connections between emerging adults' friendships and their physical health. Specifically, in my lab we are assessing emerging adults' use of technology for interacting with friends and how the use of that technology relates to their physical health.

Another project I am currently working on examines emerging adults' romantic relationships. Specifically, I am assessing the links between the importance of their romantic relationships, the quality of their relationships, and risky sexual behavior.