Predictors of early initiation of sexual intercourse among high-risk adolescents

Doran C. French, Thomas J. Dishion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study assessed the characteristics that predicted the timing of first sexual intercourse in a high-risk sample of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 14 years. The analyses were conducted with 162 adolescents (total sample of 215) who were virgins at baseline and for whom it was possible to determine the date of first sexual intercourse. Event history analyses were employed and predictor variables were defined using multimethod and multiagent assessments. The modal age of first intercourse was 14 years. Pubertal status, externalizing ratings, delinquency, substance use, monitoring, and deviant-peer involvement were univariate predictors of age of first sexual intercourse, whereas deviant-peer involvement was the sole predictor in the multivariate analysis. These results suggest that precocious sexual initiation can be understood using models of the etiology of other problem behavior and that deviant-peer involvement is a particularly salient dimension of this trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-315
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Deviant peers
  • Family processes
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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