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NLM AIDSLINE

Determinants of sexual behavior in children and young adolescents.




 

Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):176 (abstract no. Mo.D.1709). Unique

Objectives: In view of the increasingly pre- and peripubertal onset of sexual risk behavior, especially in disadvantaged populations, to identify determinants of sexual behavior in several cohorts of children and young adolescents. Methods: We studied sexual behavior and its determinants by a parent-administered Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991) in 124 high-risk boys age 5-11 (survey 1), 331 boys age 6-10 (survey 2) and 355 girls of the same age from a community sample (survey 3), and by a comprehensive parent- and child-administered interview protocol in 99 high-risk boys (age 7-12) and their mothers (study 4). Results: The high-risk boys and, less so, the community boys, but not the community girls, had higher rates of both sexual and other problem behaviors than non-clinical norm samples. In surveys 1-3, sexual problem behaviors were significantly related to other problem behaviors, but not to age, ethnicity, or socio-economic level. In Study 4, a regression equation developed to predict antisocial behavior in high-risk boys also strongly predicted sexual behavior; strongest predictors were parent-child conflict and parental psychopathology. Sexuality-specific family predictors further contributed. Conclusions: Sexual problem behaviors in childhood and early adolescence are associated with psychopathologic symptoms and predicted to a marked extent by family predictors of non-sexual) antisocial behavior. These findings support a family orientation for programs to reduce sexual risk behaviors in late childhood and early adolescence.

*Sex Behavior



 




Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.