Depressive symptoms and sexual experiences among early adolescent girls: interpersonal avoidance as moderator.
ABSTRACT 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.
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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. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: 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. METHOD: Early adolescent girls (N = 83; mean age = 13.45) participated in baseline and 1-year follow up data collection. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.Journal of Clinical Psychology 02/2012; · 2.12 Impact Factor