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Early Adolescent Sexual Activity: A Developmental Study

Les B. Whitbeck, Kevin A. Yoder, Dan R. Hoyt and Rand D. Conger
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 61, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 934-946
DOI: 10.2307/354014
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/354014
Page Count: 13
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Early Adolescent Sexual Activity: A Developmental Study
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Abstract

This study uses event history analysis to examine predictors of early sexual intercourse for a sample of 457 adolescents in grades 8 through 10 from two-parent and single-mother families. We ran panels for each predictor variable when controlling only for family structure, pubertal development, gender, and grade level to assess changes in influence of individual predictors across time. A full model consisting of all statistically significant predictor variables and interactions was then run to determine the most influential predictors across time. Results indicate significant decrease in the effect of mother monitoring by 10th grade. We also found significant interactions for gender: time devoted to school activities and homework delayed becoming sexually active for young women but not young men. Similarly, depressed affect increased the likelihood of early intercourse among young women but not young men. Results for the full model indicated that when controlling for all other influences, the primary predictors of early intercourse were age, opportunity (being in steady relationship), sexually permissive attitudes, association with delinquent peers, and alcohol use.

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