Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 768–782

Reciprocal Effects between the Perceived Environment and Heterosexual Intercourse Among Adolescents

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-006-9076-z

Cite this article as:
Ream, G.L. J Youth Adolescence (2006) 35: 768. doi:10.1007/s10964-006-9076-z


This study proposes a transactional model for the reciprocal relationship between increased likelihood of adolescent sexual intercourse and decreased connection with the perceived environment. Connection with the perceived environment is operationalized as higher problem-focused interactions with parents, lower religious attendance, and lower school belonging. Relationship with the perceived environment is further hypothesized to explain the increase in depressive symptoms associated with initiating sexual intercourse in adolescence. Data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (one year apart; valid N=10,873) were analyzed using survey-adjusted multiple and logistic regression and path analysis. Hypothesized relationships were confirmed, with an additional finding that relationships with the perceived environment do not improve with the cessation of sexual intercourse. Implications of a possible explanation for this, that this finding indicates sexually active youth earn a stigmatized “non-virgin” label that they cannot easily remove, are discussed.


Sexual Intercourse Depression Religion Parental Relations School Belonging Transactional Models Problem Behavior 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA

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