Self-reported alcohol use and sexual behaviors of adolescents

Psychol Rep. 2003 Feb;92(1):339-48. doi: 10.2466/pr0.2003.92.1.339.


Research has demonstrated a relation between alcohol use and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors. Alcohol use, especially binge drinking, has been linked to a host of problems including high-risk sexual behavior, date rape, and academic problems. As such, the purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive profile of alcohol consumption among adolescents and to examine the relations of alcohol use (lifetime, current, binge) with sexual activity variables (sexual initiation, multiple sex partners, condom use, and pregnancy) among adolescents completing the 1993-1999 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Analysis showed alcohol use was associated with high-risk sexual activity. Binge drinking had stronger relations with sexual activity variables than lifetime use and current use of alcohol. This result is of particular concern, in that binge drinking has been implicated in many problem behaviors. As such, it is of great importance to intervene in the high-risk practices of adolescents before problems occur.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sampling Studies
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires