159343 Behavioral and psychological antecedents of sexually risky behaviors among high risk adolescents

Monday, November 5, 2007: 8:55 AM

Alexis Magdalene Inabinet, MA , Medical Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Maja Altarac, MD, MPH, PHD , Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birimingham, AL
John Bolland, PhD , College of Human & Environmental Services, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
T. Mark Beasley, PhD , Department of Biostatistics, Univeristy of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Background: The economic and psychological toll sexually transmitted diseases impose upon youth demands increased understanding of sexual risky behaviors, especially among adolescents living in high poverty communities.

Methods: The Mobile Youth Survey (MYS) is a community research project designed to determine decision making and subsequent health risk among adolescents that live in poverty. Sexual risk behaviors include failing to utilize contraceptives and STD protection, intercourse while drunk or high, and intercourse with multiple partners. The responses of 1,192 sexually active adolescents that participated in the 2005 wave of the MYS were age adjusted then analyzed in order to identify if there are associations between onset of sexual intercourse, levels of hopelessness, and sexually risky behaviors.

Results: The timing of first sexual intercourse was not significantly associated with condom or contraceptive utilization. Early initiators were more likely to engage in sex while drunk or high than late initiators (OR=2.72, 95%CI=1.893.91). On average, early initiators reported a greater number of sexual partners in the past year than late initiators, 3.14 and 2.26 respectively (p<.001). Adolescents that reported high hopelessness were less likely to use condoms and other forms of contraception (OR=1.9, 95%CI=1.352.7; OR=2.28, 95%CI=1.623.22, respectively) than those with low levels of hopelessness. Those with high hopelessness were more likely to have intercourse while drunk or high (OR=1.81, 95%CI=1.252.61) than those with low hopelessness.

Conclusions: After adjusting for age, both early initiation of sexual intercourse and high levels of hopelessness are associated with participation in risky sexual behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the prevalence of sexually risky behaviors and related health concerns among impoverished communities. Compare and link behavioral and psychological markers associated with sexually risky behavior. Discuss utilization of sexually risky behavior antecedents to target groups for intervention.

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.