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J Adolesc. 2007 Feb;30(1):165-73. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Brief report: sexual sensation seeking and its relationship to risky sexual behaviour among African-American adolescent females.

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Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Road NE, Room 221, Atlanta GA 30322, USA.


The relationship between sexual sensation seeking and sexual risk taking has been investigated among adult populations. There are limited data, however, regarding this relationship for adolescents. Since African-American adolescent females continue to be disproportionately diagnosed with STDs, including HIV, we examined this association among a clinic-based sample of African-American adolescent females (N=715) enrolled in an STD/HIV prevention intervention. Participants (ages 15-21) endorsing higher levels of sexual sensation seeking reported higher levels of sexual risk-taking behaviours (e.g. frequency of vaginal intercourse, number of sexual partners, and poorer condom use). Results remained significant after controlling for known covariates associated with sexual risk-taking behaviours. Results are consistent with the adult literature and highlight the need for future investigations examining sexual sensation seeking among adolescents. These results, though preliminary, could be used to better inform prevention interventions and clinicians/health educators who provide direct services to adolescents.

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