Young age at first sexual intercourse and sexually transmitted infections in adolescents and young adults

Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400, USA.
American Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 4.98). 05/2005; 161(8):774-80. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwi095
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors examined the relation between age at first vaginal intercourse and a positive nucleic acid amplification test for sexually transmitted infection (STI). A nationally representative sample of 9,844 respondents aged 18-26 years was tested for chlamydial infection, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis in wave 3 (2001-2002) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The authors used multiple logistic regression to assess the relation between age at first sexual intercourse and these STIs and to examine variation by current age, sex, race, and ethnicity. Younger ages at first intercourse were associated with higher odds of STI in comparison with older ages, but the effect diminished with increasing current age. For example, the odds of having an STI for an 18-year-old who first had intercourse at age 13 were more than twice those of an 18-year-old who first had intercourse at age 17 (prevalence odds ratio = 2.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.42, 3.59). In contrast, the odds of having an STI among 24-year-olds with first intercourse at age 13 versus those with first intercourse at age 17 were the same (prevalence odds ratio = 1.11, 95% confidence interval: 0.88, 1.39). Thus, earlier initiation of sexual intercourse is strongly associated with STIs for older adolescents but not for young adults over age 23 years.

Download full-text


Available from: Christine Elizabeth Kaestle, Aug 24, 2015
  • Source
    • "Nonetheless, also in the Netherlands, some adolescents start engaging in sexual behaviors at an early age [1]. Early initiators are more likely to have unprotected sex [4], contract sexually transmitted infections [5], become pregnant as a teenager [6], and report undesirable long-term sexual health outcomes [7]. It is therefore important for health care and educational purposes to better understand which factors promote or delay the onset of Dutch adolescents' sexual trajectories. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Purpose: The current study investigated how parents and peers interact in promoting or delaying Dutch adolescents’ sexual initiation and intention, and focused specifically on parents as moderators of peer influence. Methods: Using a longitudinal design, two waves of online questionnaire data were collected among 900 Dutch adolescents (M = 13.8 years at T1), who were sexually inexperienced at baseline. At T1, participants reported on three types of perceived sexual peer norms: friends’ sexual behaviors (descriptive norms), friends’ sexual attitudes (injunctive norms), and experienced peer pressure to have sex. They also rated two parenting aspects at T1: the general quality of their relationship with parents, and the frequency of sexuality-specific communication with their parents. Six months later, participants reported on their experience with different sexual behaviors ranging from naked touching or caressing to intercourse, and their intention to have sex in the next school year. Results: Relationship quality with parents was significantly associated with both outcomes, with a higher relationship quality predicting smaller odds of sexual initiation, and less intention to have sex. Two significant interaction effects showed that frequent sexual communication with parents significantly reduced the effects of sexually active friends and experienced peer pressure on adolescents’ intention to have sex. Conclusions: Our findings show that different types of sexual peer norms, and both general and sexuality-specific parenting play an important role in the early stages of Dutch adolescents’ sexual trajectories. Moreover, parent-adolescent communication about sexuality can function as a buffer for the sex-stimulating effects of sexual peer norms.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 02/2014; 55(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.02.017 · 2.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Increasingly, public health researchers have acknowledged the development of sexuality in adolescence as a normal process, to be treated as one of the main ''developmental tasks'' of the teenage years (Tolman and McClelland 2011). Nevertheless, early sexual activity is likely to expose young people to unwanted sex (Martinez et al. 2011), sexually transmitted infections (Kaestle et al. 2005), and teenage pregnancy (Lau et al. 2013). There is therefore considerable interest in identifying predictors of early sexual behavior (sex before age 16), rather than the normative timing of 16–18 years for men (Martinez et al. 2006) and women (Chandra et al. 2005) in contemporary Europe and North America. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mental health and school adjustment problems are thought to distinguish early sexual behavior from normative timing (16-18 years), but little is known about how early sexual behavior originates from these problems in middle-childhood. Existing studies do not allow for co-occurring problems, differences in onset and persistence, and there is no information on middle-childhood school adjustment in relationship to early sexual activity. This study examined associations between several middle-childhood problems and early sexual behavior, using a subsample (N = 4,739, 53 % female, 98 % white, mean age 15 years 6 months) from a birth cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Adolescents provided information at age 15 on early sexual behavior (oral sex and/or intercourse) and sexual risk-taking, and at age 13 on prior risk involvement (sexual behavior, antisocial behavior and substance use). Information on hyperactivity/inattention, conduct problems, depressive symptoms, peer relationship problems, school dislike and school performance was collected in middle-childhood at Time 1 (6-8 years) and Time 2 (10-11 years). In agreement with previous research, conduct problems predicted early sexual behavior, although this was found only for persistent early problems. In addition, Time 2 school dislike predicted early sexual behavior, while peer relationship problems were protective. Persistent early school dislike further characterized higher-risk groups (early sexual behavior preceded by age 13 risk, or accompanied by higher sexual risk-taking). The study establishes middle-childhood school dislike as a novel risk factor for early sexual behavior and higher-risk groups, and the importance of persistent conduct problems. Implications for the identification of children at risk and targeted intervention are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 07/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1007/s10964-013-9973-x · 2.72 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "A number of factors have been identified that are associated with increased risk for contracting an STD. Behavioral factors, including younger age at first intercourse, having multiple sex partners, and engaging in unprotected intercourse, are associated with increased risk (DiClemente et al. 2005; Kaestle et al. 2005; Robertson et al. 2005). Furthermore, having been previously diagnosed with an STD is one of the strongest predictors of a new STD diagnosis (Crosby et al. 2000; DiClemente et al. 2002; Kershaw et al. 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Few studies have examined whether and how receiving an sexually transmitted disease (STD) diagnosis while in a romantic relationship relates to condom use and psychosocial sexual outcomes. Using dyadic data, we examined associations of a personal or a partner's STD diagnosis during a relationship with condom use, monogamy intentions, condom intentions and attitudes, and STD susceptibility and communication. Because beliefs about how the STD was acquired may shape associations with behavior and cognitions, gender and suspecting that one's partner had other sexual partners (i.e., partner concurrency) were examined as moderators. Participants were 592 individuals in 296 couples expecting a baby; 108 individuals had been diagnosed with an STD during the relationship. Personal STD diagnosis was unrelated to outcomes or was associated with increased risk. A partner's diagnosis related to more positive condom intentions and attitudes. Among men who suspected concurrency, both a personal and a partner's STD diagnosis were associated with less condom use. Receiving the STD diagnosis during pregnancy was associated with greater susceptibility and marginally greater condom use. Results suggest potential benefits of enhancing communication and encouraging joint risk reduction counseling among couples, engaging men more fully in preventive efforts, and capitalizing on the short window during which risk reduction occurs.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 01/2013; 51(3-4). DOI:10.1007/s10464-012-9567-x · 1.74 Impact Factor
Show more