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Pediatrics. 1994 Jun;93(6 Pt 1):966-73.

Sexual practices and intentions among preadolescent and early adolescent low-income urban African-Americans.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201.



To assess the sexual practices and the social and intrapersonal influences on sexual practices and intentions which have an impact on the risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among pre- and early adolescent, low-income African-American youths.


Cross-sectional cohort study conducted in nine recreation centers serving three public housing developments in an eastern city.


Three hundred fifty-one African-American youths 9 to 15 years of age.


Past and intended sexual intercourse, and past and intended condom use determined by a risk assessment instrument delivered aurally and visually via a "talking" MacIntosh computer.


The median age was 11 years; 35% of youths had had sexual intercourse and 20% of virgins thought it likely that they would become sexually active in the next six months. Age and male gender were correlated with sexual activity. Of sexually active youths 62% had used a condom during their last episode of coitus and 60% expected to do so at the next episode. Among sexually active youths, 24% of boys and 35% of girls had had anal intercourse. Rates of foreplay (nonpenetrative sex) were low even among sexually active youths. The median number of sexual partners in the past six months was two. Social influences from parents, peers, and partners in an intimate relationship were important for all four sexual outcomes both by univariate analysis and after logistic regression.


A high percentage of the low-income, urban African-American pre- and early adolescents in this study are engaging or intending to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome reduction interventions for early adolescents should incorporate the importance of social influences from multiple sources.

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