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J Adolesc Health. 2014 Jan;54(1):114-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.013. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Substance use and sexual intercourse onsets in adolescence: a genetically informative discordant twin design.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri; Midwest Alcohol Research Center, Columbia, Missouri. Electronic address: arielle.deutsch@gmail.com.
2
Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri; Midwest Alcohol Research Center, Columbia, Missouri.
3
Midwest Alcohol Research Center, Columbia, Missouri; Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
4
Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Using a genetically informed, discordant twin analysis, the objective of this study was to examine whether earlier onset of drinking and smoking behaviors predicted early sexual intercourse onset.

METHODS:

Over 3,400 adult same-sex twins from the Australian Twin Registry completed a structured interview that included retrospective reports on onsets of smoking, drinking, intoxication, and sexual intercourse and conduct disorder symptoms. A two-level frailty model estimated within-twin-pair and between-twin-pair comparisons. Onsets of smoking, drinking, drunkenness, and conduct disorder symptoms were estimated as sexual intercourse onset predictors.

RESULTS:

After controlling for conduct disorder, smoking and drinking onset did not predict sexual intercourse onset for either within-twin-pair or between-twin-pair comparisons. Drunkenness onset had a significant effect on sexual intercourse onset, such that twins who first experienced alcohol intoxication at a younger age than their co-twins were also more likely to have sex earlier than their co-twins.

CONCLUSIONS:

Relationships between substance use and sexual intercourse onsets may be due mostly to shared underlying factors; there was only a small relation between intoxication onset and sexual intercourse onset, and no direct relation between smoking and drinking onset and sexual intercourse onset.

KEYWORDS:

Problem behavior theory; Sexual intercourse onset; Substance use onset; Twin study

PMID:
23992762
PMCID:
PMC3872214
DOI:
10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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