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J Adolesc Health. 2011 Oct;49(4):437-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Feb 17.

Alcohol use as a potential mediator of forced sexual intercourse and suicidality among African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic high school girls.

Author information

1
Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. yen-chi.L.Le@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Sexual assault on adolescent females is a major public health concern. The purposes of this study were to examine: (1) whether alcohol use mediates the relationship between forced sexual intercourse and suicidality in high-school girls, and (2) whether this mediation differs by ethnicity.

METHODS:

Using cross-sectional data from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (n = 6,294), we used logistic regression and simple mediation using the Sobel test for indirect effect for our analyses.

RESULTS:

Overall rates for forced sexual intercourse, alcohol use, and suicidality were 10.9%, 56.6%, and 18%, respectively. Current alcohol use significantly mediated the relationship between forced sexual intercourse and suicidality in African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic high-school girls. Overall, 13% of variance in participants' suicidality can be accounted for by the indirect effect of forced sexual intercourse on suicidality through alcohol use. The amount of variance accounted for by alcohol use varied significantly by ethnicity, with the largest amount of variance (21%) accounted for suicidality in Hispanic girls.

CONCLUSION:

In addition to its acute affects, alcohol use may serve as a general risk factor for suicidality in girls who have experienced forced sexual intercourse. Intervention programs targeting female adolescent sexual assault victims should include an alcohol use component.

PMID:
21939878
PMCID:
PMC3378245
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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