Brief report: Sexual sensation seeking and its relationship to risky sexual behaviour among African-American adolescent females

Joshua S. Spitalnick, Ralph J. DiClemente, Gina M. Wingood, Richard A. Crosby, Robin R. Milhausen, Jessica M. Sales, Frances McCarty, Eve Rose, Sinead N. Younge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relationship between sexual sensation seeking and sexual risk taking has been investigated among adult populations. There are limited data, however, regarding this relationship for adolescents. Since African-American adolescent females continue to be disproportionately diagnosed with STDs, including HIV, we examined this association among a clinic-based sample of African-American adolescent females (N=715) enrolled in an STD/HIV prevention intervention. Participants (ages 15-21) endorsing higher levels of sexual sensation seeking reported higher levels of sexual risk-taking behaviours (e.g. frequency of vaginal intercourse, number of sexual partners, and poorer condom use). Results remained significant after controlling for known covariates associated with sexual risk-taking behaviours. Results are consistent with the adult literature and highlight the need for future investigations examining sexual sensation seeking among adolescents. These results, though preliminary, could be used to better inform prevention interventions and clinicians/health educators who provide direct services to adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • African American
  • Condom use
  • Female
  • Risky sex
  • STD/HIV
  • Sexual sensation seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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