245066 Predictors of premarital sexual activity among unmarried youth in Vientiane, Lao PDR: The role of parent-youth interactions and peer influence

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:30 PM

Vanphanom Sychareun, MD, PhD , University of Health Sciences, Lao, Vietnam
Monika Sawhney, PhD , Assistant Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies/Global Health, Mercer University, Macon, GA
Alongkone Phensavanh, MD, MSc , University of Health Sciences, Lao, Vietnam
Visanou Hansana, MD MTCM , University of Health Sciences, Lao, Vietnam
Sengchan Kounnavong, MD MTCM , National Institute of Public Health, Lao, Vietnam

Young people are increasing to engage in premarital sex, which may be linked to the poor sexual health outcomes. This study addressed several factors affecting sexual behaviors among unmarried youth aged 18-24 years at the individual, family and extra familial levels.


A cross sectional study was carried out among 1200 unmarried youth aged 18-24 years old in the communities, Vientiane Capital City during the end of 2003 to 2004. Logistic regression models, controlling for confounding variables was performed to test for the contribution of factors influencing premarital sexual activity among unmarried youth.


The prevalence of premarital sexual activity was 44.7% among males and 19.2% among females. Predictors of premarital sexual intercourse for males are individual (age), sexual attitudes, perceived parental expectation regarding sex, dating, peer influence on dating; while for females, youth's education, father's education, parent-youth sexual communication, perceived parental expectation, sexual attitudes and peer influence to indulge in sexual behavior.

Policy implications

Results point to the complexity of youth sexual behaviors and highlighted the role of parent-youth interaction and peer influence. A gender specific approach to sex education is needed because of the difference between male and female sexual behaviors. Recommendations are made for developing and implementing sex education programs by involving peers in the sex education process, promoting youth's responsibility for their sexual health, and helping the youth to build skills to protect their sexual health and enhance parent-youth interaction in order to promote healthy sexual heath among youth.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the predictors of pre-marital sexual activity among unmarried youth 2. Identify predictors of pre-marital sexual activity among male and female youth

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Public health and have done research in various aspects of health related topics.
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.