262577 Relationship between age of sexual intiation and substance use among U.S. high school students

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:50 AM

Brittney D. Oliver, MS , Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Andrew Owusu, PhD , Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Samuel Sowah, BS , Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Amanda R. Cole, MS , Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Poliala Mahoney Dickson, MS , Department of Health and Human Performance, Midddle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Background/Purpose: Existing research indicates adolescent health risk behaviors are correlated and often occur together. This study investigated the relationship between age of sexual initiation and substance use among high school students in the United States who have ever had sex. Methods: Data from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey was utilized. A total of 16,410 students participated in the 2009 YRBS. A complex sample logistic regression in SPSS was used to examine if students who initiated sex before age 13 years were more likely to also report substance use (alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy) compared to students who initiated sex after age 13 years. Results: 5.9% (CI: 5.1-6.8) of high school students report initiating sex prior to age 13. When controlling for select demographic variables, students who initiated sex before age 13 are significantly more likely to report using marijuana (OR: 4.19; CI: 3.42-5.13), cocaine (OR: 9.10; CI: 6.5013.00), methamphetamine (OR: 8.90; CI: 6.8411.67), and ecstasy (OR: 6.65; CI: 5.148.61) compared to students who had sex after age 13. Additionally, students who initiated sex before age 13 were significantly more likely to engage in early onset (prior to 13 years of age) of alcohol consumption (OR: 5.10; CI: 4.20-6.20) and cigarette smoking (OR: 9.52; CI: 7.46-12.30) compared to students who initiated sex after age 13. Conclusion: Significant associations indicate the need to concurrently address potential substance use as part of programs focusing on early sexual debut among adolescents in the United States.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe relationships between early sexual initiation and various substance use behaviors among U.S. high school students. Identify U.S. high school students at greatest risk for engagement in substance use behaviors on the basis of age of sexual initiation.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Substance Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I have conducted several investigations into the sexual and substance use behaviors of adolescents of various populations. I teach health and wellness undergraduate courses at Middle Tennessee State University
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.