skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 221583 Find in a Library
Title: Sex and the Self: The Impact of Early Sexual Onset on the Self-Concept and Subsequent Risky Behavior of African American Adolescents
Journal: Journal of Early Adolescence  Volume:28  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:70-91
Author(s): Amy E. Houlihan; Frederick X. Gibbons; Meg Gerrard; Hsiu-Chen Yeh; Rachel A. Reimer; Velma M. Murray
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 22
Publisher: http://www.sagepub.com/ 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The present study investigated changes in African-American adolescents’ health cognitions, self-concept, and misbehavior following the onset of sexual activity.
Abstract: Findings indicate that sexual debut was related to increases in adolescents’ self-concepts and risk-cognitions, both of which predicated risky sexual behavior. Early sexual onset was associated with an increase in sex prototype favorability, for all adolescents, and the increase in self-concept for the boys. The current analysis found evidence of reciprocal relations between prototypes and risk behaviors. Favorable prototypes predicted early sexual onset (onset within the next 2 years), which was associated with risky sexual behavior 3 years later. Positive effect of sexual onset of African-American adolescents’ self-concepts were revealed, as those who became sexually active showed a greater increase in self-concept than those adolescents who abstained. The effect was found despite the high stability of self-concept over time, and the effect was significantly stronger for boys than for girls. Furthermore, self-concept was related to later risky sexual behavior and consequences associated with risky sexual behavior. Thus it appears that some African-American adolescents view themselves more positively after the initiation of early sex. Post cross-sectional research has shown that self-esteem is positively related to sexual behavior for early adolescents, but is not related to sexual behavior among middle and late adolescence. Data did not suggest that low self-concept adolescents initiate sexual behavior to boost their self-concept. In fact, there was no relation between pre-debuted in self-concept and debut. The data suggest that adolescents with typical levels of self-concept experience an increase in self-concept after sexual onset. It is possible that other events or changes in adolescents’ lives that coincided with the timing of sexual onset may explain the observed increase in self-concept. The sample consisted of 733 African-American boys (328) and girls (405) from Iowa and Georgia. Tables, figure, note, references
Main Term(s): Black/African Americans; Psychosexual behavior; Self concept; Social psychology
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Georgia (USA); Group behavior; Individual behavior; Iowa; Nonviolent behavior; Risk taking behavior; Sexual behavior
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=243464

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.