Advertisement

Protective and Risk Factors Associated with Adolescent Boys’ Early Sexual Debut and Risky Sexual Behaviors

  • Brenda J. Lohman
  • Amanda Billings
Empirical Research

Abstract

Protective and risk factors associated with rates of early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviors for a sample of low-income adolescent boys were examined using bioecological theory framed by a resiliency perspective. Protective processes examined include a close mother–son and father–son relationship, parental monitoring and family routines, as well as the adolescent boy’s academic achievement, expectations, and school recognition. The risk factors assessed were delinquent behaviors, if the adolescent was born to a teenage mother, family structure, monthly family income, risky neighborhood environments, family of origin welfare receipt, and maternal education. Waves one (1999) and two (2001) of Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study were used (N = 528; Wave 1 ages 10–14 years). Associations between early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviors with individual, family, school, and neighborhood protective and risk factors were addressed through a series of d-probit and Ordinary Least Squares multiple regression techniques. When protective and risk factors were addressed independently, academic achievement and parental monitoring protected adolescent boys from early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviors while drug and alcohol use and school problems placed them at risk for these behaviors. However, when the model is assessed together, early parental monitoring and academic achievement were shown to protect boys’ early sexual debut and risky sexual behaviors by reducing their delinquent behaviors, specifically early drug and alcohol use and school problems.

Keywords

Adolescent males Low-income Minority Sexual activity Risky sexual behaviors 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations. Government agencies: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (RO1 HD36093 “Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children”), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, Social Security Administration, and National Institute of Mental Health. Foundations: The Boston Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Searle Fund for Policy Research, and The Woods Fund of Chicago. A special thank you is extended to our research firm, Research Triangle Institute (RTI) as well as to the children and caregivers who graciously participated in the Three-City Study and gave us access to their lives.

References

  1. Alan Guttmacher Institute. (2002). Sexual and reproductive health: Women and men. Retrieved June 10, 2005, from http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_10-02.pdf.
  2. Albert, B., Brown, S., & Flanigan C. (Eds.). (2003). 14 and younger: The sexual behavior of young adolescents. Washington DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.Google Scholar
  3. Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2005). When teens have sex: Issues and trends. Retrieved April 6, 2005, from http://www.aecf.org/cgi-bin/teen.cgi?DATASET=US.
  4. Armsden, G. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 16, 427–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baumer, E. P., & South, S. J. (2001). Community effect on youth sexual activity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 540–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borus, M. E., Carpenter, S. W., Crowley, J. E., Daymont, T. N., et al. (1982). Pathways to the future, volume II: A final report on the National Survey of Youth labor market experience in 1980. Columbus, OH: Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University.Google Scholar
  8. Brewster, K. L., Billy, J. O., & Grady, W. R. (1993). Social context and adolescent behavior: The impact of community on the transition to sexual activity. Social Forces, 71, 713–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner. U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development, 6, 187–249.Google Scholar
  10. Brooke, J. S., Balka, E. B., Abernathy, T., & Hamburg, B. A. (1994). Sequences of sexual behavior and its relationship to other problem behaviors in African American and Puerto Rican adolescents. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 155, 107–114.Google Scholar
  11. Brooks-Gunn, J., & Paikoff, R. (1997). Sexuality and developmental transitions during adolescence. In J. Schulenberg, J. L. Maggs, & K. Hurrelmann (Eds.), Health Risks and Developmental Transitions During Adolescence (pp. 190–219). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Brown, A. B., & Flanigan, C. (Eds.). (2003). 14 and younger: The sexual behavior of young adolescents (summary). Washington, DC: National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.Google Scholar
  13. Buhi, E. R., & Goodson, P. (2007). Predictors of adolescent sexual behavior and intention: A theory-guided systematic review. Journal of Adolescent Health, 40, 4–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Capaldi, D. M., Crosby, L., Stoolmiller, M. (1996). Predicting the timing of first sexual intercourse for at risk adolescent males. Child Development, 67, 344–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report—1996. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, September 1997.Google Scholar
  16. Chapin, J. (2000). Adolescent sex and mass media: A developmental approach. Adolescence, 35, 799–811.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Chewning, B., & Van Koningsveld, R. (1998). Predicting adolescents’ initiation of intercourse and contraceptive use. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1245–1254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Child Trends. (2003). Facts at a glance. Retrieved June 26, 2005, from http://www.childtrends.org/Files/FAAG2003.pdf.
  19. Coker, A. L., Richter, D. L., Valois, R. F., McKeown, R. E., Garrison, C. Z., & Vincent, M. L. (1994). Correlates and consequences of early initiation of sexual intercourse. Journal of School Health, 64, 372–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davis, E. C., & Friel, L. V. (2001). Adolescent sexuality: Disentangling the effects of family structure and family context. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 669–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Donovan, J. E., & Jessor, R. (1985). Structure of problem behavior in adolescent and young adulthood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 890–904.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fortste, R., & Hass, D. (2002). The transition of adolescent males to first sexual intercourse: Anticipated or delayed?. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 34, 184–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Furstenberg, F. F., Morgan, S. P., Moore, K. A., & Peterson, J. L. (1987). Race differences in the timing of adolescent intercourse. American Sociological Review, 52, 511–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gold, M. (1970). Delinquent behavior in an American city. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  25. Goodman, L. A. (1960). On the exact variance of products. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 55, 708–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Goodson, P., Evans, A., & Edmundson, E. (1997). Female adolescents and onset of sexual intercourse: A theory-based review of research from 1984 to 1994. Journal of Adolescent Health, 21, 147–156.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guijarro, S., Naranjo, J., Padilla, M., Gutierez, R., Lammers, C., & Blum, R. W. (1999). Family risk factors associated with adolescent pregnancy: Study of a group of adolescent girls and their families in Ecuador. Journal of Adolescent Health, 25, 166–172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hao, L., & Cherlin, A. J. (2004). Welfare reform and teenage pregnancy, childbirth, and school dropout. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hanson, S. L., Morrison, D. R., & Ginsburg, A. L. (1989). The antecedents of teenage fatherhood. Demography, 26, 579–596.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hogan, D. P., & Kitagawa, E. M. (1985). The impact of social status, family structure, and neighborhood on fertility of black adolescents. The American Journal of Sociology, 90, 825–855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the child-clinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 65, 599–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and meditational effects in studies of pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 87–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Huebner, A. J., & Howell, L. W. (2003). Examining the relationship between adolescent sexual risk-taking and perceptions of monitoring, communication and parenting styles. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33, 71–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jensen, E. W., James, S. A., Boyce, W. T., & Hartnett, S. A. (1983). The family routines inventory: Development and validation. Social Science and Medicine, 17, 201–211.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2005). U.S. teen sexual activity. Retrieved June 16, 2005 from http://www.kff.org/youthhivstds/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=135221.
  36. Kalil, A., & Kunz, J. (1999). First births among unmarried adolescent girls: Risk and protective factors. Social Work Research, 23, 197–208.Google Scholar
  37. Kalmuss, D., Davidson, A., Cohall, A., Laraque, D., & Casseell, C., (2003). Preventing sexual risk behaviors and pregnancy among teenagers: Linking research and programs. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 35, 87–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Karofsky, P. S., Zeng, L., & Kosorok, M. R. (2000). Relationship between adolescent-parental communication and initiation of first intercourse by adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 28, 41–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kessler, R., & Greenberg, E. F. (1981). Linear panel analysis: Models of quantitative change. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  40. Kirby, D. (2002). Antecedents of adolescent initiation of sex, contraceptive use, and pregnancy. American Journal of Health Behavior, 26, 473–485.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Luster, T., & Small, S. A. (1994). Factors associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors among adolescents. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 622–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lynch, C. O. (2001). Risk and protective factors associated with adolescent sexual activity. Adolescent & Family Health, 3, 99–107.Google Scholar
  43. Metzler, C. W., Noell, J., & Biglan, A. (1992). The validation of a construct of high-risk sexual behavior in heterosexual adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 72, 233–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Miller, K. S., Forehand, R., & Kotchik, B. A. (1999). Adolescent sexual behavior in two ethnic minority samples: The role of family variables. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 85–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Moore, M. R. (2001). Family environment and adolescent sexual debut in alternative household structures. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  46. Moore, K., Miller, B., Glei, D., & Morrison, D. (1995). Adolescent sex, contraception, and childbearing: A review of the recent research. Washington, DC: Child Trends, Inc.Google Scholar
  47. Pedersen, S., & Seidman, E. (2004). Team sports achievement and self-esteem development among urban adolescent girls. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 412–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Perkins, D. F., Luster, T., Villarruel, F. A., & Small, S. (1998). An ecological, risk-factor examination of adolescents’ sexual activity in three ethnic groups. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60, 660–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ream, G. L., & Savin-Williams, R. C. (2005). Reciprocal associations between adolescent sexual activity and quality of youth-parent interactions. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 171–179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Roche, K. M., Mekos, D., Alexander, C. S., Astone, N. M., Bandeen-Roche, K., Ensminger, M. E. (2005) Parenting influences on early sex initiation among adolescents: How neighborhood matters, Journal of Family Issues, 26, 32–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rose, A., Koo, H. P., Bhaskar, B., Anderson, K., White, B., Jenkins, R. R. (2005). The influence of primary caregivers on the sexual behavior of early adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 135–144.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rosenbaum, E., & Kandel, D. B. (1990). Early onset of adolescent sexual behavior and drug involvement. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 783–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rucibwa, N., Modeste, N., Mongtomery, S., & Fox, C. (2003). Exploring family factors and sexual behaviors in a group of Black and Hispanic adolescent males. American Journal of Health and Behavior, 27, 63–74.Google Scholar
  54. Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57, 316–331.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S., & Fenton, E. (1997). Neighborhoods and violent crime: A multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science, 277(5328), 918–924.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Santelli, J. S., Lowry, R., Brener, N. D., & Robin, L. (2000). The association of sexual behaviors with socioeconomic status, family structure, and adolescent race among US adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 1582–1588.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Santelli, J. S., Lindberg, L., Abma, J., McNeeley, C., & Resnick, M. (2004). Adolescent sexual behavior: Estimates and trends from four nationally representative surveys. Family Planning Perspectives, 32, 156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sarri, R., & Phillips, A. (2004). Health and social services for pregnant and parenting high risk teens. Children & Youth Services Review, 26, 537–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Schvaneveldt, P. L., Miller, B. C., Berry, E. H., & Lee, T. R. (2001). Academic goals, achievement, and age at first sexual intercourse: Longitudinal, bidirectional influences. Adolescence, 36, 767–787.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Small, S. A., & Luster, T. (1994). Adolescent sexual activity: An ecological, risk-factor approach. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 181–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Smith, L. H., Guthrie, B. J., & Oakley, D. J. (2005). Studying adolescent male sexuality: Where are we? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34, 361–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 290–312). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  63. Steinberg, L., Mounts, N. S., Lamborn, S. D., & Dornbusch, S. M. (1991). Authoritative parenting and adolescent adjustment across varied ecological niches. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1, 19–36.Google Scholar
  64. Thornberry, T. P., Smith, C. A., & Howard, G. J. (1997). Risk factors for teenage fatherhood. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59, 505–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. United States Centers for Disease Control. (2005). Youth online: comprehensive results. Retrieved July 20, 2006, from http://www.apps.nccd.cdc.gov/yrbss/QuestYearTable.asp?cat=4&Quest=Q60&.
  66. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2007). Healthy people 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2008 from http://www.healthypeople.gov/default.htm.
  67. Ventura, S. J., Mathews, T. J., & Hamilton, B. E. (2002). Teenage births in the United States: State trends, 1991–2000, an update. National Vital Statistics Reports; 50(9). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
  68. Whitbeck, L. B., Yoder, K. A., Hoyt, D. R., & Conger, R. D. (1999). Early adolescent sexual activity: A developmental study. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, 934–946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Winston, P., Angel, R., Burton, L., Chase-Lansdale, P., Cherlin, A., Moffitt, R., & Wilson, W. (1999). Welfare, children, and families: A three-city study, Overview and Design Report. Available at http://www.web.jhu.edu/threecitystudy/images/overviewanddesign.pdf.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Social and Behavioral ResearchIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

Personalised recommendations