Online Program

Relationship Between Suicidal Behavior and Early Sexual Intercourse

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Zenobia Bryant, Public Health- Epidemiology, Walden University, Gaithersburg, MD
Early sexual initiation has a variety of negative mental health consequences such as suicidal behavior.  The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the initiation of sexual intercourse before the age of 13 and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts in adolescents.  Using data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, associations between age at first sexual intercourse and three outcomes, suicidal consideration, suicidal planning, and suicidal attempts were analyzed using binary logistic regression. There were 6,420 students included in the analyses, with 20% having considered, 17.1% having planned, and 11.6% having attempted suicide at some time point. As the age of sexual initiation increases, there is a 14% reduced odds for considering suicide, a 17% reduced odds for planning suicide, and a 27% reduced odds for attempting suicide.   The findings that the initiation of sex at an early age is associated with suicidal behavior are important in order to help protect the health of adolescents.  It is imperative that prevention and intervention programs fully educate adolescents on the risks of engaging in sexual intercourse before they are mentally and emotionally ready.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define suicidal behavior among adolescents. Describe the relationship between early sexual intercourse and suicidal behavior. Discuss and design possible prevention or intervention options targeted toward adolescents.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal author of this research topic since September 2014 and I have presented this information at the National Association of African American Studies national conference in February 2015.
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.