Influence of sexual sensation-seeking on factors associated with risky sexual behaviour among African-American female adolescents

Tiarney D. Ritchwood, Dolly C. Penn, Ralph J. Diclemente, Eve S. Rose, Jessica M. Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The identification of antecedents to sexual risk among youth is critical to the development and dissemination of multilevel interventions. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the effect of sexual sensation-seeking on partner age, partner communication, and the sexual attitudes and behaviours of African-American female youth. Methods: This study examined survey data collected by audio computer-assisted self-interviews from 701 young African-American females between 14 and 20 years of age. The survey consisted of items designed to measure adolescents' sexual risk and preventive behaviours. Results: The results of this study suggest that sexual sensation-seeking is associated with condom use among adolescent African-American females. For adolescents who reported greater sexual sensation-seeking, lower levels of sexual happiness were associated with a decreased likelihood of condom use at last intercourse (β≤1.01, P≤0.05). For those reporting lower levels of sexual sensation-seeking, greater sexual enjoyment was associated with a greater likelihood of condom use at last intercourse (β≤0.93, P≤0.01). Adolescents with younger sexual partners and lower levels of sexual sensation-seeking reported a higher proportion of condom use in the past 6 months (β≤0.70, P≤0.01). Higher partner communication self-efficacy and decreasing levels of sexual sensation-seeking were associated with fewer lifetime sexual partners (β≤-0.54, P≤0.05). Conclusions: Future research should address the impact of these variables on adolescent relationship dynamics and sexual decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-546
Number of pages7
JournalSexual Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • communication
  • condom use
  • partner age
  • satisfaction
  • women
  • youth.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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