Early sexual initiation among urban african american male middle school youth in baltimore city

Damiya E. Whitaker, Carolyn D. Furr-Holden, Leah Floyd, Pritika Chatterjee, William W. Latimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data regarding the etiology of problem-based child and adolescent outcomes indicates neighborhood socioeconomic status, land use mix, traffic danger, availability of drugs and alcohol and collective socialization are factors that influence or confound behavior among youth in urban areas. With socio-ecological models in mind, this study examined associations between early sexual initiation and neighborhood condition, externalizing behavior, drug use and perceived peer acceptance of drug use. One hundred and fifteen African American male adolescents (ages 11 to 15) enrolled in a randomized control trial provided the data for analysis. Logistic regression models showed older age, perceived peer acceptance of drug use and externalizing behavior were predictors of early sex initiation. Although physical and social hazards as well as resource depletion in urban centers creates increased risk for poor health and social outcomes among adolescents, no neighborhood effects were found in this study. Interventions to delay sexual initiation among urban African American male adolescents may benefit from focus on both socially, and ecologically, relevant influences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalElectronic Journal of Human Sexuality
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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