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J Adolesc Health. 1999 Nov;25(5):328-35.

Relationship between number of sexual intercourse partners and selected health risk behaviors among public high school adolescents.

Author information

1
Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the relationship between number of sexual partners and selected health risk behaviors in a statewide sample of public high school students.

METHODS:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey was used to secure usable sexual risk-taking, substance use, and violence/aggression data from 3805 respondents. Because simple polychotomous logistic regression analysis revealed a significant Race x Gender interaction, subsequent multivariate models were constructed separately for each race-gender group. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals was calculated from polychotomous logistic regression models for number of sexual intercourse partners and their potential risk behavior correlates.

RESULTS:

An increased number of sexual intercourse partners were correlated with a cluster of risk behaviors that place adolescents at risk for unintended pregnancy, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and other sexually transmitted infections. For Black females, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and dating violence behaviors were the strongest predictors of an increased number of sexual partners; white females had similar predictors with the addition of physical fighting. For white males, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, physical fighting, carrying weapons, and dating violence were the strongest predictors of an increased number of sexual intercourse partners. Black males had similar predictors with the addition of binge alcohol use.

CONCLUSION:

Prevention of adolescent sexual and other health risk behaviors calls for creative approaches in school and community settings and will require long-term intervention strategies focused on adolescent behavior changes and environmental modifications.

PIP:

This study examines the relationship between a number of sexual partners and selected health risk behaviors among public high school students. 56 schools took part in the study with approximately 125 participants from each school. A total of 3805 respondents (52% female, 48% males) were included in the final analysis that consisted of 1506 Black students and 2299 White students. The findings showed that a significant number of public high school students are engaging in sexual intercourse. Black males had the highest percentage (88%) engaging in sexual intercourse, followed by Black females (70%), White males (61%), and White females (52%). Furthermore, an increased number of sexual intercourse partners were correlated with certain risk behaviors that place adolescents at risk for unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections. The strongest predictors of an increased number or sexual partners for White females were alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, and dating violence; Black females had similar predictors with the addition of physical fighting. For White males, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use, physical fighting, carrying weapons, and dating violence were the strongest predictors of an increased number of sex partners. Black males have similar predictors with the addition of binge alcohol use. These findings suggest the need for a comprehensive prevention program that focuses on adolescent behavior changes and environmental modifications.

PMID:
10551663
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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