Adolescent sexual victimization, use of alcohol and other substances, and other health risk behaviors

J Adolesc Health. 2004 Oct;35(4):321-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.09.023.


Purpose: To examine the relationship between substance use, other health risk behaviors, and sexual victimization among adolescent females.

Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey of 16-20-year-olds, including 647 female "ever drinkers" (1999) and 1236 female "never drinkers" and "ever drinkers" (2000) from 17 states, was conducted as part of the National Evaluation of the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program. The survey assessed underage alcohol use, sexual victimization, and other risky behaviors. Logistic regression modeling was used to measure the association among sexual victimization, substance use, and other risk behaviors.

Results: In 1999, 8.2% and in 2000, 7.1% of the participants reported having experienced actual or attempted sex against their will. Logistic regression analyses revealed that binge drinking in the past 2 weeks (1999), age at first drink (2000), sex without birth control (1999 and 2000), marijuana use in the past 30 days (1999 and 2000), and ever having been in a fight (2000) were associated with sexual victimization.

Conclusions: Indicators of substance abuse and other health risk behaviors were strongly associated with sexual victimization among adolescent females. Implications for the direction of causal relationships are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drinking Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Rape / psychology
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology