A conceptual framework for the analysis of risk and problem behaviors: The case of adolescent sexual behavior

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, James Jaccard, Patricia Dittus, Bernardo Gonzalez, Alida Bouris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A framework for the analysis of adolescent problem behaviors was explicated that draws on five major theories of human behavior. The framework emphasizes intentions to perform behaviors and factors that influence intentions as well as moderate the impact of intentions on behavior. The framework was applied to the analysis of adolescent sexual risk behavior in a population of 668 middle school youths in inner-city New York. Adolescents completed self-administered questionnaires in small group settings, assessing their past sexual activity, intentions to engage in sexual intercourse, expectancies about the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in sexual intercourse, normative pressures to engage in sex, the image implications of engaging in sex, emotional and affective reactions to engaging in sex, and self-efficacy with respect to engaging in sexual intercourse. The framework yielded high levels of predictability of intentions to have sex, with variables from each category proving to be of predictive value. The findings have important implications for social work researchers interested in the prevention of adolescent problem behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Work Research
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Keywords

  • Adolescent risk behavior
  • Inner city
  • Middle school youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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