Building on the growing body of research that supports the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual activities in adolescence, we examined how individual differences in interpersonal avoidance and anxiety might moderate this association. Data were collected from 71 early adolescent girls (M age 13.45 years; SD = 0.68; 89% Caucasian) concurrently and 1 year later. Results indicated that greater depressive symptoms predicted a greater frequency of sexual intercourse both concurrently and 1-year later, particularly among more interpersonally avoidant girls. However, greater depressive symptoms predicted a greater frequency of non-intercourse activities 1-year later among less avoidant girls. Implications for understanding how individual differences in interpersonal style may serve as risk or protective factors in dysphoric girls' sexual experiences are discussed.
"Several authors have found early initiation of sexual intercourse to be related to poor psychosocial functioning (e.g., Aalsma et al., 2010; Bingham & Crockett, 1996; Hershenberg & Davila, 2010) and depressive symptoms, particularly in girls (e.g., Hallfors, Waller, Bauer, Ford, & Halpern, 2005). Kaltiala-Heino, Kosunen, and Rimpela (2003) investigated a range of sexual behaviors (i.e., kissing, light petting, heavy petting, and intercourse) and found more physically intimate ones to be associated with more self-reported depression. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research examining oral sex during adolescence tends to investigate only potential negative consequences without considering its place in sexual development or distinctions between cunnilingus and fellatio. Using retrospective reports from 418 undergraduate women, we examined the relations among young women's ages of initiation of both cunnilingus and fellatio and sexual motives, experiences of sexual coercion, and indicators of psychological functioning. Age at cunnilingus initiation was unrelated to sexual coercion or psychological functioning; however it was related to engaging in sex for personal stimulation and gratification (personal drive motive) and to feel agentic, assertive, and skillful (power motive). Age at fellatio initiation was related to feelings of inferiority compared to others and a devaluing of the self (interpersonal sensitivity). Findings challenge the unilateral assumption that all adolescent sexual activity is negative and indicate the need for future research distinguishing between cunnilingus and fellatio.
Journal of Adolescence 04/2012; 35(5):1191-201. DOI:10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.03.010 · 2.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research has linked adolescent romantic and sexual activities to depressive symptoms. The current study examines whether such activities are uniquely linked to depressive symptoms versus symptoms of other disorders (including anxiety, externalizing, and eating disorders), and whether co-occurring symptoms more precisely account for the association between depressive symptoms and romantic involvement.
Early adolescent girls (N = 83; mean age = 13.45) participated in baseline and 1-year follow up data collection.
Romantic (i.e., dating and sexual) activities were longitudinally related to numerous types of symptoms. The association between depressive symptoms and romantic variables remained when considering co-occurring symptoms. Girls with more comorbid disorders reported more romantic activities.
Results suggest that the maladaptive consequences and precipitants of adolescent romantic activities extend beyond depression, but also imply that this association is not secondary to comorbid symptoms. Future work should clarify causal pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adolescent dating and sexual activity are consistently associated with risk for depression, yet the pathways underlying this association remain uncertain. Using data on 1,551 sibling pairs (ages 13-18) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the current study utilized a sibling comparison design to assess whether adolescent dating, sexual intercourse with a romantic partner, and sexual intercourse with a nonromantic partner were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms independent of familial factors. Results indicated that adolescent dating, in and of itself, was not associated with depressive symptoms. The association between depressive symptoms and sexual activity with a romantic partner was fully accounted for by between-family genetic and shared environmental confounds. In contrast, sexual activity with a nonromantic partner was significantly associated with both mean levels of depressive symptoms and clinically severe depression, even within sibling dyads. This relationship was greater for younger adolescents (<15 years). These results are consistent with a growing body of research demonstrating that relationship contexts may be critical moderators of the psychosocial aspects of adolescent sexual experiences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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