Sexual encounters Marla

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Social-psychological theories of health behavior suggest that adolescents' sexual behaviors are influenced by the sexual attitudes and behaviors of their friends. Data on 2, participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Add Health who were sexually inexperienced at Wave 1 — were analyzed to examine whether friend-related variables predicted initiation of vaginal intercourse by Sexual encounters Marla 2 Analyses also assessed whether predictive relationships varied by level of involvement with friends.

Odds ratios were generated by logistic regression analysis. In analyses controlling for gender, family structure and romantic relationships, the higher the proportion of a youth's friends who were sexually experienced, the greater the odds of sexual debut odds ratio, 1. Relationships between friend variables and sexual initiation did not vary by level of involvement with friends. To maximize the likelihood of success, programs focused on delaying teenage sexual intercourse should address norms for sexual behavior among adolescents' close friends as well as the perceptions, skills and behaviors of individual youth.

Social-psychological theories of health behavior 6 and empirical research 7 suggest that timing of first sexual intercourse is influenced by a broad array of individual and social environmental factors. Among the most powerful sources of social influence are parents, siblings, sexual partners and friends. Reviews of recent research highlight aspects of adolescents' friendships that are key influences on their sexual risk behaviors: friends' sexual behaviors, adolescents' perceptions of friends' behaviors and attitudes, and level of involvement with friends.

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Longitudinal studies have found that adolescents who perceive that their friends favor postponing sexual intercourse are themselves more likely than others to do so. To date, very few studies have prospectively tested the relative power of multiple forms of friend influence on adolescents' initiation of sexual intercourse. And few have examined how various forms of friend influence may operate tly.

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In addition, many studies have been based exclusively on adolescents' perceptions of friend attitudes and behaviors, which may bias estimated associations with sexual debut because of a "false consensus" effect. Finally, the generalizability of many studies has been limited by the age range, geographic location or sex of the adolescent sample.

The purpose of our study was to examine forms and pathways of friend influence on adolescents' sexual debut. We were guided by a conceptual model derived from the theory of triadic influence, which posits that a complex set of social, attitudinal and intrapersonal factors influence individuals' health-related behaviors. It further assumes that individuals are especially motivated to adopt attitudes and behaviors of others with whom they have strong social bonds, such as their immediate circle of friends.

Our model examines the impact of four forms of friend influence on adolescents' initiation of vaginal intercourse.

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First, the model suggests that the prevalence of sexual experience among close friends will have a direct impact on adolescents' sexual debut. Second, it posits that close friends' attitudes Sexual encounters Marla sex will have a direct impact on adolescents' sexual initiation. Third, it holds that prevalence of sexual experience among friends and friends' attitudes about sex will be related to adolescents' perceptions of gaining respect from friends for having sex, which will have a direct impact on sexual debut. And fourth, our model suggests that the magnitude of influence associated with friends' sexual behavior and attitudes will be strongest among adolescents who are highly involved with their close friends.

We used longitudinal data to investigate friend influence, measured at study baseline, on adolescents' first vaginal intercourse over a follow-up period of 9—18 months. This strategy assures that these relationship dynamics precede first sexual intercourse, rather than resulting from it. We tested four hypotheses: Adolescents with higher proportions of sexually experienced close friends are more likely to initiate sexual intercourse than others; adolescents whose close friends hold positive attitudes related to sex have an increased likelihood of initiating intercourse; close friends' sexual behaviors and attitudes influence initiation of intercourse by influencing adolescents' perceptions about gaining friends' respect by having sex; and the proposed associations Sexual encounters Marla strongest among teenagers who are highly involved with their close friends.

During the — school year, approximately 90, students in grades 7—12 at junior and senior high schools completed in-school surveys, and a randomly selected subsample of 12, completed additional in-home surveys Wave 1. Participants who had been in grades 7—11 at baseline were again surveyed at home 9—18 months later, in Wave 2. As part of the in-school survey, participants were asked to nominate up to five best male and five best female friends from a roster of all students at their school.

In addition, participants in the Wave 1 in-home survey were asked to nominate one best male and one best female friend. We used the Wave 1 friendship network data set to link each participant with all nominated friends whom the participant had not also nominated as a romantic or sexual partner.

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In-home surveys included detailed questions about sexual attitudes and behaviors, romantic relationships, and a range of other health behaviors and personal characteristics. Many questions related to sexual attitudes were asked only of participants aged 15 or older. For sensitive portions of the in-home survey, adolescents listened to questions through earphones and directly entered their responses into a laptop computer, thereby reducing the potential for interviewer or parent effects. Our sample consisted of 2, students in grades 9—11 who completed both Wave 1 and Wave 2 in-home surveys, reported on the Wave 1 in-home survey that they had never had vaginal intercourse, provided data at Wave 2 on initiation of intercourse and nominated at least one friend who also completed the Wave 1 in-home survey.

Eight percent of youth meeting the other eligibility criteria were excluded because usable data were Sexual encounters Marla available from at least one nominated friend. To ensure that data related to each nominated friend were used only once in the analysis, we cross-checked friends nominated in the in-school and in-home surveys. Participants nominated 1—10 friends from their school mean, 5.

On average, 2. Of note, this study did not include data from friends who were not in school because of the Add Health sampling frame. Such friends may be more likely to be sexually experienced, and students on the verge of first sex may be more likely than other sexually inexperienced students to nominate friends who are not in their schools. Within our sample, the of out-of-school friend Sexual encounters Marla was small, averaging less than one per participant mean, 0. More importantly, the proportion of out-of-school friends did not differ between participants who initiated intercourse between interviews and those who did not.

Therefore, the assumption that adolescents who initiated intercourse and those who did not have friendship groups located within schools seems reasonable. Compared with the cross section of sexually inexperienced participants in grades 9—11 completing the Wave 1 survey, our sample had ificantly greater proportions of students who were female, white and from families with two biological parents, and a ificantly smaller proportion of students from families receiving public assistance.

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Equal proportions of youth in both groups had had romantic relationships in the 18 months. Thus, youth in our sample were at somewhat lower risk for sexual debut than the broader group of sexually inexperienced students in grades 9—11 who completed the first survey.

Fifty-one percent of the Sexual encounters Marla sample were excluded from multivariate analyses because of missing data on one or more independent variables. These adolescents were similar to those who were included with regard to gender, family structure, family receipt of public assistance and romantic relationship in the past 18 months.

Our outcome of interest was initiation of vaginal intercourse between the Wave 1 and Wave 2 surveys. Participants were asked in both waves if they had ever had vaginal intercourse and, if so, the month and year in which they had had intercourse for the first time. A key inconsistency involved 51 participants who said at Wave 1 that they were sexually inexperienced but at Wave 2 gave a date of first intercourse that was up to three months before the first survey.

In comparisons of baseline behavioral and demographic indicators, we found no ificant differences between this group and Sexual encounters Marla who said in both surveys that they were inexperienced at Wave 1. Given these findings and research documenting measurement error among adolescents asked to recall specific dates of first intercourse, 20 we considered the 51 participants who gave inconsistent responses to have initiated sex between survey waves.

Perceived respect from friends for having sex was measured with a Wave 1 item asking participants how much they agreed with the statement "If you had sexual intercourse, your friends would respect you more. Level of involvement with friends was based on how many of the following activities a participant reported having engaged in with each nominated friend during the past week: going to the friend's house, meeting the friend after school, spending time with the friend over the weekend, talking with the friend about a problem and talking with the friend on the telephone.

An average friend involvement score was created by summing activities with each nominated friend completing a Wave 1 in-home survey and dividing this sum by the of nominated friends with in-home surveys. Possible scores ranged from 0 no activities with any nominated friends in the past week to 5 highest level of activities with all nominated friends in the past week. The prevalence of sexual experience among friends represents the proportion of nominated friends completing in-home surveys who reported at Wave 1 that they had ever voluntarily had sexual intercourse.

Following an approach developed by Jussim and Osgood, 21 we averaged the scores of nominated friends with in-home data to derive an index of friends' attitudes. Possible values ranged from 0 all nominated friends reported minimum benefits of having intercourse to 20 all nominated friends reported maximum benefits of having intercourse. The first step in our analysis was to identify variables to serve as covariates in our multivariate models. Youth from families with two biological parents had a ificantly lower risk of sexual initiation between survey waves than youth from families with other structures; females and youth with a history of recent romantic involvement had ificantly elevated risks of sexual initiation.

In addition, we included the of nominated friends providing study data as a covariate, because in preliminary analyses, several independent variables were more strongly related to sexual initiation among participants with three or more friends contributing data than among those with one or two friends in the data set. The second step was to identify Wave 1 friend-related variables that had ificant bivariate relationships Sexual encounters Marla sexual initiation, using chi-square tests.

These variables were then included in a final, main-effects multivariate logistic regression model testing our first two hypotheses that sexual initiation is influenced by friends' sexual behavior and attitudes. This model included the proportion of participants' friends who were sexually experienced, friends' attitudes about sex, perceived respect from friends for having sex, level of involvement with friends and the above-mentioned covariates.

To test our third hypothesis, that perceived respect from friends for having sex mediates relationships between friend variables and adolescents' initiation of sexual intercourse, we used a strategy assessing mediation described by Baron and Kenny, and Ennett and Bauman. Mediation analyses consisted of three steps.

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First, we examined bivariate associations between selected friend variables i. Second, we regressed Wave 1 covariates and each selected friend variable on adolescent sexual initiation by Wave 2. Third, we repeated the analysis, adding the proposed mediator as an independent variable.

The standardized regression coefficients from the second and third analyses indicate, respectively, the total and direct effects of the friend variables Sexual encounters Marla sexual initiation; the difference between the total and direct effects is the indirect effect. To determine the percentage indirect effect, we divided the indirect effect by the total effect and multiplied the result by To examine our fourth hypothesis, that relationships between friend variables and initiation of intercourse are strongest among teenagers who are highly involved with their close friends, we included interaction terms in multivariate models to determine if each relationship varied by level of involvement.

The sample consisted of 2, adolescents. Fifty-six percent were female Table 1. Seven percent said that a parent or a parent's partner had received public assistance in the past year. Almost two-thirds lived with their two biological parents. Slightly fewer than half of the adolescents had been involved in a romantic relationship in the 18 months before the Wave 1 survey. Among friends of participants, the mean score for attitudes about sex was 8. Although these scores varied widely from 0 to 20on average, friends perceived a modest level of benefits associated with having intercourse.

The mean score for perceived respect from friends for having sex was 2. Students reported an average of 2. Relative to their inexperienced counterparts, initiators had friends who reported more benefits of sex, and they themselves held stronger beliefs that they would gain friends' respect by having sex.

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Adolescents who initiated sex between waves were more highly involved with their friends at Wave 1 than were those who remained inexperienced. In analyses controlling for participants' gender, family structure, romantic relationship history and of friends providing study data, the greater the proportion of friends who were sexually experienced at Wave 1, the higher the odds of sexual debut by Wave 2 Table 3. The odds ratio 1. This finding supports the hypothesized relationship between friends' sexual behavior and the likelihood of sexual initiation.

The multivariate findings provided mixed support for a relationship between friends' attitudes about sex and sexual initiation, our second hypothesis. The more respect adolescents perceived they would gain from friends by having intercourse, the higher their odds of sexual intercourse odds ratio, 1. However, friends' own attitudes about sex were not ificantly associated with initiation of intercourse.

Sexual encounters Marla

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