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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Apr;160(4):375-80.

Television viewing and risk of sexual initiation by young adolescents.

Author information

1
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 2870 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA. slashby@aap.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if television viewing is associated with the risk of initiating sexual intercourse in young adolescents.

DESIGN:

Secondary analysis of data obtained from 1994 through 1996.

SETTING:

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

PARTICIPANTS:

The 4808 students younger than 16 years who had not initiated intercourse before baseline interview.

EXPOSURES:

Primary exposure was self-reported daily television watching, categorized as low (< 2 hours) or high (> or =2 hours) use. Secondary exposure was parental regulation of television programming watched.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Odds ratio for initiating intercourse by 1-year follow-up, adjusted for potential confounders.

RESULTS:

At baseline, 2414 (48.8%) subjects watched television 2 or more hours per day. By 1-year follow-up, 791 (15.6%) subjects had initiated intercourse. Sexual initiation was associated with high television use (adjusted odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.79) and lack of parental regulation of television programming (adjusted odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.80). Most subjects (73.8%) reported strong parental disapproval of sex; their overall rate of initiation was 12.5%, and their risk was independently associated with high television use (adjusted odds ratio, 1.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.24-2.40) and lack of parental regulation of television programming (adjusted odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.81). Among adolescents who did not report strong parental disapproval, the rate of sexual initiation was higher (24.1%) but unrelated to television use.

CONCLUSION:

Among young adolescents who reported strong parental disapproval of sex, watching television 2 or more hours per day and lack of parental regulation of television programming were each associated with increased risk of initiating sexual intercourse within a year.

PMID:
16585482
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.160.4.375
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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