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Adolescent Sexual Activity: An Ecological, Risk-Factor Approach

Stephen A. Small and Tom Luster
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 181-192
DOI: 10.2307/352712
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352712
Page Count: 12
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Adolescent Sexual Activity: An Ecological, Risk-Factor Approach
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Abstract

The present study extends previous research by examining the relationship between adolescent sexual intercourse and several important but yet to be studied factors including history of physical abuse, neighborhood monitoring, and the adolescent's attachment to school, as well as factors that have previously shown inconsistent findings. The present investigation also tests whether a cumulative risk factor model provides a useful approach to predicting adolescent sexual activity. Findings indicate that there are a number of significant risk factors related to whether or not adolescents are sexually experienced and that the importance of some of these risk factors vary by gender. The data also provide strong support for the concept of cumulative risk and suggest that the more risk factors present in adolescents' lives, the greater the likelihood that they will be sexually experienced.

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