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Multicenter Study
. 2011;34(4):189-204.
doi: 10.3109/01460862.2011.619861.

Early and Risky Sexual Behavior in a Sample of Rural Adolescents

Multicenter Study

Early and Risky Sexual Behavior in a Sample of Rural Adolescents

Lynn Rew et al. Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. .


Introduction: Early and risky sexual behavior has been studied primarily in urban adolescents.

Method: The purpose of this analysis was to identify psychosocial variables associated with sexual-risk behaviors in a sample of mostly rural adolescents. Six hypotheses were tested, using a resilience framework and data from an ongoing longitudinal study of 255 adolescents.

Results: Sexual-risk status did not differ statistically by gender (p=.654) or socioeconomic status (p=.590). However, adolescents who engaged in sexual-risk behaviors reported significantly lower religiosity (p<.003), lower parental monitoring (p=.002), lower social connectedness (p=.007), and higher levels of peer influence (p<.001) than those engaged in no sexual-risk behaviors. Adolescents engaged in sexual-risk behaviors were also engaged in significantly more other health-risk behaviors such as smoking and drinking (p<.001).

Discussion: Findings may be useful for developing interventions that focus on the social influences of peers and parents on rural youth.

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