Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 695–705

Affect Regulation, Social Context, and Sexual Intercourse in Adolescents


    • Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
  • Shimrit Koren
    • Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • Parul Aneja
    • Clinical Research ProgramChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • Carl de Moor
    • Department of PsychiatryChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical School
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9394-1

Cite this article as:
Shrier, L.A., Koren, S., Aneja, P. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2010) 39: 695. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9394-1


This study examined trajectories of positive and negative affect surrounding penile–vaginal sexual intercourse (sex) in adolescents and explored the influence of companionship on these trajectories. Using a handheld computer, sexually active adolescents (N = 67) reported momentary affect and sex events in response to several random signals each day for 1 week (1,777 reports, 266 sex events). Cubic spline regression analyses showed that positive affect began to increase before sex, peaked at the time sex was reported, and then returned to baseline. Negative affect did not differ from baseline before sex, but decreased following sex. Improvement in affect before and after sex varied according to companionship. Understanding the complex associations of affect, companionship, and sex has implications for interpreting and intervening on adolescent sexual behavior in social context.


AdolescentsSexual behaviorAffectSocial contextMomentary sampling

Copyright information

© Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School 2008