162225 Neighborhood effect on adolescent sexual behavior

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 3:20 PM

Jinsook Kim, PhD, MPH, DDS , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, IL
Problem: Adolescent sexual intercourse can pose serious consequences including pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections due to the high likelihood of inadequate protection. Neighborhood socioeconomic and structural factors are examined for their association with sexual experience among adolescents, controlling for individual and family characteristics. Methods: The analysis uses individual (n=773, ages 12 to 17) and family (n=652) data from the 2000-2001 Wave 1 Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey and neighborhood data from the 2000 Census (n=65). Multilevel logistic random intercept models are applied to determine the likelihood of ever having had sex among White, African American, first or second generation Latino, and 3rd or higher generation Latino adolescents from neighborhoods with different social contexts, controlling for individual and family characteristics as well as after-school care arrangement. Results: African American adolescents show higher prevalence of sexual experience (25.3%) than Whites (11.3%) and Latinos (12 to 21%). However, the racial/ethnic differences disappear when neighborhood variables are introduced. Two neighborhood indicators, the proportion of Whites and that of female-headed households in neighborhood, show a significant association with adolescent sexual experience in opposite directions, controlling for individual characteristics (age, gender, and educational aspiration), after-school care, and family contexts (socioeconomic status and family composition). The associations of two neighborhood factors with the outcome differ by gender. The protective effect of percent White and the detrimental effect of percent female-headed household are significant only among boys. Conclusions: The results suggest a significant influence of neighborhood contexts on adolescent sexual behavior and gender differences in the influence.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the likelihood of having had sex among adolescents living in different socio-demographic neighborhoods. 2. List three neighborhood indicators that are associated with the likelihood of having had sex among adolescents. 3. Determine whether there are differences in the association of neighborhood characteristics with adolescent sexual behavior by gender and ethnicity.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
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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.