Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience of Adolescent Sexual Risk and Alcohol Use

AIDS Behav. 2016 Jan;20 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S97-108. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1155-2.


Human adolescents engage in very high rates of unprotected sex. This behavior has a high potential for unintended, serious, and sustained health consequences including HIV/AIDS. Despite these serious health consequences, we know little about the neural and cognitive factors that influence adolescents' decision-making around sex, and their potential overlap with behaviorally co-occurring risk behaviors, including alcohol use. Thus, in this review, we evaluate the developmental neuroscience of sexual risk and alcohol use for human adolescents with an eye to relevant prevention and intervention implications.

Keywords: Adolescent; Alcohol use; Brain; HIV; Sexual risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Cognitive Neuroscience*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex