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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2014 Jun;19(3):211-9. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2014.897320. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Early sexual initiation and risk factors in Serbian adolescents: data from the National Health Survey.

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* Department of Humanities.



To identify factors associated with sexual initiation before the age of 17 among Serbian adolescents and to assess whether the latter is associated with other risky behaviours, such as tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use, and fighting.


The study was an analysis of data gathered by the 2006 Serbian National Population Health Survey in which information concerning adolescents was obtained by means of questionnaires. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and a logistic regression model.


A total of 474 adolescents aged 15 and 16 completed the survey. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that male respondents reporting sexual initiation were significantly more likely to smoke daily and to have experienced two or more episodes of drunkenness in the past. Female respondents reporting sexual initiation were significantly more likely to live with both parents, to feel insecure in school, to smoke daily and to drink more than once a week.


A strong association was found between adolescent sexual initiation and substance abuse. Although a causal relationship is evidently not established, one might contemplate including measures lowering the frequency and intensity of substance abuse in health prevention programmes and interventions aiming at reducing the risks associated with sexual initiation.


Adolescents; Risk factors; Serbia; Sexual initiation

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