182048 Environmental Correlates of Initiation of Sexual Intercourse in urban African American Adolescents

Monday, October 27, 2008: 4:40 PM

Von Nebbitt, PhD , School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC
Sexually active adolescents are at risk for unintended pregnancy and contracting STDs, including HIV/AIDS (CDC, 2005). In 2005, African American students had the highest prevalence of sexual intercourse (CDC, 2006). Sexually active African American youth are at particularly high risk of the unintended consequences of sex because of their over-representation in dangerous urban environments. Evidence suggests that neighborhood, social and individual factors influence the on-set of sexual intercourse among urban African American adolescents.

Using a sample of African American adolescents from urban public housing, this study assesses the influences of community, family, peer and individual measures on the likelihood of being sexually active. Two questions are advances: (1) how does the onset of sexual intercourse differ by gender and age; (2) how do community, family, peer and individual measures impact the likelihood of being sexually active. Sequential logistic regression analysis was employed.

The sample was 401 youth; average age 15.3 and a standard deviation of 2.5 years. Participation did not differ by gender. Sexually active youth were older than non-active youth. Results found that being male, older, affiliating with delinquent peers and being victimized by community violence increased the likelihood of having had sexual intercourse in urban African American youth.

Preventative interventions design to delay the onset of sexual intercourse among African American adolescents within urban public housing communities may benefit from peer-based interventions. Also, preventative interventions should focus on creating safer living environments given the effects of community violence on the onset of sexual intercourse.

Learning Objectives:
1. understand how onset of sexual intercourse differ by age and gender among urban youth in public housing 2. understand the role of peers in the likelihood of having had sex 3. understand how victimization by community violence increases likelihood of onset of sexual intercourse

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI for the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.