Substance use and sexual risk taking among black adolescents and white adolescents

Health Psychol. 1994 May;13(3):251-62. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.13.3.251.


Analyses of data from a random sample of 1,259 sexually active adolescents revealed that substance use was associated with increased sexual risk taking on 2 occasions of intercourse (1st intercourse ever and 1st intercourse with most recent partner), even after controlling for demographic experiential, and dispositional confounders. Within-persons analyses yielded similar results, indicating that adolescents who used substances, on 1 of the 2 occasions, reported higher levels of risk taking on the occasion when substances were used than on the no-substance use occasion. However, substance use was both more common and more strongly linked to risk taking among White than Black adolescents, suggesting that White adolescents are a greater risk of negative consequences related to substance use proximal to intercourse.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / transmission
  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • White People / psychology*