The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4250.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 5:30 PM

Abstract #53575

Sex behavior and STD: Comparison between Chinese American and Caucasian adolescentss

Wen-Hung Kuo, PhD, SM, Behavioral Intervention Research Branch, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NDRI, 71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010, 917-548-6766, and Janet S St. Lawrence, PhD, Behavioral Interventions Research Branch, Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop E-44, Atlanta, GA 30333.

Background: Earlier studies have shown that Asian Americans, including Chinese Americans, were significantly less likely to be sexually active and obtain STD in their adolescence than Caucasians. However, few studies explored factors that protect Asian adolescents from early sex initiation and STD.

Method: 10,419 Caucasian and 340 self-identified Chinese American adolescents were selected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Results: Chinese Americans reported significantly lower rate of sexual intercourse than Caucasian adolescents (14% vs. 36%, OR=0.29, 95% CI=0.21-0.39) but no difference for age of first sexual intercourse. Among sexually active adolescents, no difference in STD diagnoses was reported between two groups (p=0.74). For both Caucasian and Chinese Americans, use of tobacco, alcohol, higher depressive symptoms, and loosened attitude about sex increased the likelihood of having sex; while living with both parents, higher frequency dining with parents, and higher intelligence protected adolescents from having sex. Except for depressive symptoms, most risk factors were more prevalent among Caucasian and protective factors more prevalent among Chinese Americans. However, after adjusting those factors, Chinese Americans remained less likely to have sex than Caucasians. The risk profile was similar between girls and boys though girls were at higher risk for STD.

Conclusions: Chinese Americans adolescents presented more protective factors and fewer risk factors for having sex than Caucasian, suggesting that some factors delaying sex initiation among Asian adolescents should be promoted. Comparable rates of STD diagnoses between Chinese American and Caucasian adolescents suggests that once sexually active, both groups are at the same risk for STD. Education about safer sex is important for both groups.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Culture

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Children's Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA