Sexual communication is associated with condom use by sexually active incarcerated adolescents

Richard L. Rickman, Mark Lodico, Ralph J. Diclemente, Robert Morris, Charles Baker, Susan Huscroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Incarcerated adolescents are at increased risk for infection by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Moreover, condom use by this population is extremely low. Although interpersonal variables such as sexual communication have been found to be associated with condom use in other populations, few researchers have investigated this relationship among adolescents requiring detention in juvenile facilities. The present study investigated the relationship between communication about sexual history and incarcerated adolescents' condom use. Methods: We used multivariate logistic regression techniques to analyze interview data from a predominantly Latino sample of 2,132 sexually active adolescents detained in Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall. Results: Despite high numbers of lifetime sexual partners, a substantial majority of respondents (67%) reported that they never used condoms during sexual intercourse. Respondents who communicated with their sex partner(s) about each others' sexual history were significantly more likely to use condoms during sexual intercourse. Adolescents who reported that they knew someone with AIDS were also more likely to use condoms. Conclusions: Interventions designed to increase condom use among sexually active incarcerated adolescents should include a component addressing sexual communication practices. More research is needed on the ways in which adolescents learn to communicate about sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1994

Keywords

  • Incarcerated adolescents Sexual behavior HIV Prevention Condom use Sexual communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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