Online Program

Higher-Risk Alcohol Use and Risky Sexual Decision-Making among Middle and High School Students

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

David Sherrell, BS, FCD Educational Services, Newton, MA
Heather Fay, MHS, Program Services, FCD Prevention Works, Newton, MA
Desirae Vasquez, MHS, Program Services, FCD Educational Services, Newton, MA
This research investigates relationships between higher-risk alcohol use, gender, and regretted or unwanted sexual encounters among youth. With a more nuanced understanding of how adolescent higher-risk drinking and risky sexual decision-making vary according to gender, health educators can develop efficiently targeted prevention and early intervention strategies.

From years 2009 to 2013, a school-based survey was administered among 39,134 6th-12th-grade students from 22 countries. Logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between gender, frequency and volume of alcohol consumed, and the likelihood of a) regretted sexual experiences and b) feeling taken advantage of sexually due to another’s drinking.

Females were more likely than males (OR: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.7, 2.0) to experience a regretted sexual encounter as the result of their own drinking. Females were also more likely than males (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 2.4, 3.0) to feel taken advantage of due to another’s drinking. While frequency of drinking had no statistically significant relationship with sexual encounter outcomes, volume did; the more alcohol students consumed per drinking event, the more likely an unwanted sexual experience occurred (OR: 2.0, 95% CI: 1.9, 2.1). Additionally, those who had regretted sexual experiences due to their own drinking were more likely to feel taken advantage of by another (OR: 9.9, 95% CI: 8.7, 11.4).

This data is particularly useful in norming interventions and in prevention, using such evidence to foster critical thinking among alcohol-using youth as well as youth who socialize with peers who drink.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationships between higher-risk alcohol consumption, gender, and risky sexual decision-making among adolescents Discuss implications for prevention

Keyword(s): Prevention, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been providing prevention education and other services using data-driven social norms interventions for over five years. I have also conducted analyses of data related to adolescent substance use for the last year. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Phoenix.
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.