197923 Factor analysis and behavioral associations of a short sexual expectancy scale for minority young adolescents

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:15 AM

Ian W. Holloway, MSW, MPH , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Dorian E. Traube, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Brooklyn Levine, MSW , School of Social Work, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Mary McKay, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Expectancies have been shown to be a central explanatory concept in sexual risk taking, yet relatively little research has been conducted on the utility of expectancy measures to aid intervention design and development. We evaluated the factor structure of a short sexual expectancy scale among a group of 223 Latino and African American inner-city young adolescents.

Respondents were primarily Latino (64%), with an average age of 12.0 years (sd = 0.73). Base rates of sexual behaviors were low (oral sex: 4.2%; intercourse: 6.0%); however, precocious sexual behaviors, a pre-cursor to more advanced risk behaviors, were higher (romantic kissing: 43.6%; genital touching: 21.7%). Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was conducted on a 14-point sexual expectancies scale. Four factors with eigenvalues above 1.0 emerged: (1) Personal/parental; (2) Romantic/peer; (3) Career; and (4) Sexual health. Items were included in a factor if their loading on that factor exceeded 0.4. Chronbach's alpha for the overall measure was 0.75.

Subsequent analyses using multiple logistic regression were conducted to determine the salience of each factor in predicting precocious sexual behaviors. Unadjusted logistic regression demonstrated that the personal/parental factor was the only statistically significant predictor of romantic kissing (OR: 0.584, p = 0.000) and genital touching (OR: 0.557, p = 0.000) when adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity and religiosity.

The present scale is a promising measurement tool for assessment of sexual expectancies among minority youth. Implications for developmentally and culturally tailored social work interventions designed to reduce sexual risk will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the importance of expectancies in predicting sexual behavior among minority young adolescents. 2. Identify the most salient sexual expectancy category for minority young adolescents. 3. Design intervention programs that target sexual expectancies for minority young adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second-year doctoral student at the University of Southern California studying sexual risk behavior among vulnerable populations. I hold an MSW and MPH from Columbia University and have published previously on sexual expectancies among inner-city adolescents. I conducted the data analysis presented in the present paper under the guidance of my faculty mentor and the co-authors listed on the present paper.
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.