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NCJ Number: 209532 Find in a Library
Title: Early to Bed: A Study of Adaptation Among Sexually Active Urban Adolescent Girls Younger Than Age Sixteen
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Volume:44  Issue:4  Dated:April 2005  Pages:358-367
Author(s): Andres Martin M.D.; Vladislav Ruchkin M.D.; Argyro Caminis B.A.; Robert Vermeiren M.D.; Christopher C. Henrich Ph.D.; Mary Schwab-Stone M.D.
Date Published: April 2005
Page Count: 10
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the associations between sexual activity among adolescent girls younger than age 16 with four measures of global psychological adaptation (academic motivation, school achievement, depressive symptoms, and expectations about the future).
Abstract: The increasingly younger age at first sexual intercourse is a trend that has been documented over the past two decades in many industrial countries. Several studies have attempted to capture the myriad factors, both positive and negative, associated with adolescent sexual activity into conceptual frameworks. Hypothesizing that sexually active adolescent girls, when compared with their sexually naïve peers, would endorse lower academic achievement scores, have reduced academic motivation and affiliation to their schools, have more depressive symptoms, and have a less favorable outlook in terms of their future, this study examined the associations between sexual activity among adolescent girls younger than the age 16 with these four measures of global psychosocial adaptation. The data for the study were derived from the Social and Health Assessment, a self-report survey administered in 1998 to students within the public school system in New Haven, CT. The total number of respondents was 1,413. Consistent with the hypothesis, the study indicated that sexually active adolescent girls in an inner-city public school system endorsed significantly more symptoms of depression, had a more pessimistic outlook about their futures, felt less academically motivated, and did less well in school. Study implications and limitations are presented and discussed, as well as a recommendation for additional research on the role of such factors as peer pressure in order to obtain a better understanding of the independent association between sexual activity and psychosocial adaptation. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Sexual behavior
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Adolescent pregnancy; Adolescents at risk; Connecticut; Females; School maladjustment; Students; Youth development
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