Depressive symptoms and sexual experiences among early adolescent girls: interpersonal avoidance as moderator.

Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence (Impact Factor: 2.72). 09/2009; 39(8):967-76. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-009-9446-4
Source: PubMed

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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