Affect and Sexual Behavior in the Transition to University
- 288 Downloads
This research applied a lifespan developmental framework to the study of sexual behavior among late adolescents by examining monthly covariations of penetrative and oral sex with positive and negative affect across the first year of university. Participants were 177 Canadian students who completed baseline questionnaires, followed by six monthly, web-based questionnaires assessing sexual behaviors and affect. Multilevel analyses revealed an average positive relation between oral sex and positive affect. Of six variables, five predicted individual differences in covariation between sex and affect: psychosocial maturity (immature and semi-mature status), attitudes toward sex, prior sexual experience, and living situation. During months when participants reported sexual behavior, psychosocially mature students reported more positive affect than did less mature students; students with more permissive attitudes reported more positive affect than did students with less permissive attitudes; students with no penetrative sexual experience reported more positive affect than students who had penetrative sexual experience; and living away from parents was associated with less negative affect. Implications for further study of sexual behavior from a developmental perspective are discussed.
KeywordsAffect Adolescents Sexual behavior Psychosocial maturity Multilevel modeling
This research was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master’s) to A. Dalton, and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant to N. Galambos and J. Maggs.
- Aldenderfer, M. S., & Blashfield, R. K. (1984). Cluster analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Arnett, J. J. (2004). Emerging adulthood: The winding road from the late teens through the twenties. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Baltes, P. B., Lindenberger, U., & Staudinger, U. M. (1998). Life-span theory in developmental psychology. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. M. Lerner (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., pp. 1029–1143). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Bibby, R. W. (2001). Canada’s teens: Today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Bibby, R. W., & Posterski, D. C. (1992). Teen trends: A nation in motion. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co.Google Scholar
- Boyce, W., Doherty, M., Fortin, C., & Mackinnon, D. (2003). Canadian youth, sexual health and HIV/AIDS study: Factors influencing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Toronto, ON: Council of Ministers of Education.Google Scholar
- Canadian Association for Adolescent Health. (2006). Sexual behaviours and attitudes: Canadian teenagers and mothers. Retrieved February 23, 2006, from http://www.acsa-caah.ca.
- Doherty, M. (1995). University of Alberta student sexual behaviour survey. Unpublished questionnaire.Google Scholar
- Galambos, N. L., Dalton, A. L., & Maggs, J. L. (in press). Losing sleep over it: Daily variation in sleep quantity and quality in Canadian students’ first semester of university. Journal of Research on Adolescence.Google Scholar
- Galambos, N. L., & Krahn, H. J. (2008). Depression and anger trajectories during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 15–27.Google Scholar
- Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2006). Monitoring the future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2005. Volume II: College students and adults ages 19–45 (NIH Publication No. 06-5884). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.Google Scholar
- Lefkowitz, E. S., & Gillen, M. M. (2006). “Sex is just a normal part of life”: Sexuality in emerging adulthood. In J. J. Arnett & J. L. Tanner (Eds.), Emerging adults in America: Coming of age in the 21st century (pp. 235–255). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lerner, R. M. (1998). Theories of human development: Contemporary perspectives. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & R. M. Lerner (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed., pp. 1–24). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Maticka-Tyndale, E., Barrett, M., & McKay, A. (2000). Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Canada: A review of national data sources and their limitations. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 9(1), 41–65.Google Scholar
- Montepare, J. M., Rierdan, J., Koff, E., & Stubbs, M. (1989, May). The impact of biological events on females’ subjective age identities. Paper presented at the Eighth Meeting of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, Salt Lake City, UT.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Savin-Williams, R. C., & Diamond, L. M. (2004). Sex. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (2nd ed., pp. 189–232). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Shrier, L. A., & de Moor, C. (2006, March). Trajectories of affect surrounding coitus in adolescents. Paper presented at the meeting of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, Boston, MA.Google Scholar
- Skiba, A., Fortenberry, J., & Blythe, M. (1997). Daily mood and behavioral correlates of coitus and condom use [Abstract]. Journal of Adolescent Health, 20, 145.Google Scholar