Predicting early sexual activity with behavior problems exhibited at school entry and in early adolescence.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Youth who initiate sexual intercourse in early adolescence (age 11-14) experience multiple risks, including concurrent adjustment problems and unsafe sexual practices. The current study tested two models describing the links between childhood precursors, early adolescent risk factors, and adolescent sexual activity: a cumulative model and a meditational model. A longitudinal sample of 694 boys and girls from four geographical locations was utilized, with data collected from kindergarten through high school. Structural equation models revealed that, irrespective of gender or race, high rates of aggressive disruptive behaviors and attention problems at school entry increased risk for a constellation of problem behaviors in middle school (school maladjustment, antisocial activity, and substance use) which, in turn, promoted the early initiation of sexual activity. Implications are discussed for developmental models of early sexual activity and for prevention programming.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schofield, H-LT; Bierman, KL; Heinrichs, B; Nix, RL; Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group,

Published Date

  • November 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1175 - 1188

PubMed ID

  • 18607716

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2729765

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-2835

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-0627

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10802-008-9252-6


  • eng