Characteristics Associated with Sex After Periods Of Abstinence Among Sexually Experienced Young Women

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Abstract

CONTEXT: Adolescent pregnancy prevention is difficult because adolescent sex is intermittent. Understanding why sexually experienced adolescents have sex after a period of abstinence will help clinicians to tailor counseling. METHODS: For up to 4.5 years between 1999 and 2006, a sample of 354 adolescent women recruited at urban primary care clinics were interviewed and tested for STDs every three months, and were asked to complete three months of daily diaries twice a year. Survival analyses were used to estimate associations between intrapersonal, relationship and STD-related characteristics and the risk of ending an abstinence period with sex. RESULTS: Participants reported 9,236 abstinence periods, which averaged 31 days. The risk that an abstinence period ended with sex increased steeply for periods of fewer than 17 days (short), rose less steeply for 17-39-day (intermediate) periods and was fairly steady for longer periods. For short periods, the risk increased with age, sexual interest, positive mood, partner support, relationship quality and history of STD diagnosis more than three months ago (hazard ratios, 1.02-1.2); it decreased as negative mood increased (0.98) and was reduced among adolescents with a recent STD diagnosis (0.9). For intermediate periods, the association with a recent STD diagnosis became positive (1.4). For long periods, sex was associated only with age, sexual interest and relationship quality. CONCLUSIONS: To provide targeted and timely sexual health counseling, clinicians may want to ask adolescents not only whether they are sexually active but also when they last had sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalPerspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Fingerprint

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
adolescent
mood
Counseling
counseling
Pregnancy in Adolescence
Reproductive Health
Survival Analysis
pregnancy
Primary Health Care
history
health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Characteristics Associated with Sex After Periods Of Abstinence Among Sexually Experienced Young Women",
abstract = "CONTEXT: Adolescent pregnancy prevention is difficult because adolescent sex is intermittent. Understanding why sexually experienced adolescents have sex after a period of abstinence will help clinicians to tailor counseling. METHODS: For up to 4.5 years between 1999 and 2006, a sample of 354 adolescent women recruited at urban primary care clinics were interviewed and tested for STDs every three months, and were asked to complete three months of daily diaries twice a year. Survival analyses were used to estimate associations between intrapersonal, relationship and STD-related characteristics and the risk of ending an abstinence period with sex. RESULTS: Participants reported 9,236 abstinence periods, which averaged 31 days. The risk that an abstinence period ended with sex increased steeply for periods of fewer than 17 days (short), rose less steeply for 17-39-day (intermediate) periods and was fairly steady for longer periods. For short periods, the risk increased with age, sexual interest, positive mood, partner support, relationship quality and history of STD diagnosis more than three months ago (hazard ratios, 1.02-1.2); it decreased as negative mood increased (0.98) and was reduced among adolescents with a recent STD diagnosis (0.9). For intermediate periods, the association with a recent STD diagnosis became positive (1.4). For long periods, sex was associated only with age, sexual interest and relationship quality. CONCLUSIONS: To provide targeted and timely sexual health counseling, clinicians may want to ask adolescents not only whether they are sexually active but also when they last had sex.",
author = "Mary Ott and Susan Ofner and Wanzhu Tu and Barry Katz and J. Fortenberry",
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N2 - CONTEXT: Adolescent pregnancy prevention is difficult because adolescent sex is intermittent. Understanding why sexually experienced adolescents have sex after a period of abstinence will help clinicians to tailor counseling. METHODS: For up to 4.5 years between 1999 and 2006, a sample of 354 adolescent women recruited at urban primary care clinics were interviewed and tested for STDs every three months, and were asked to complete three months of daily diaries twice a year. Survival analyses were used to estimate associations between intrapersonal, relationship and STD-related characteristics and the risk of ending an abstinence period with sex. RESULTS: Participants reported 9,236 abstinence periods, which averaged 31 days. The risk that an abstinence period ended with sex increased steeply for periods of fewer than 17 days (short), rose less steeply for 17-39-day (intermediate) periods and was fairly steady for longer periods. For short periods, the risk increased with age, sexual interest, positive mood, partner support, relationship quality and history of STD diagnosis more than three months ago (hazard ratios, 1.02-1.2); it decreased as negative mood increased (0.98) and was reduced among adolescents with a recent STD diagnosis (0.9). For intermediate periods, the association with a recent STD diagnosis became positive (1.4). For long periods, sex was associated only with age, sexual interest and relationship quality. CONCLUSIONS: To provide targeted and timely sexual health counseling, clinicians may want to ask adolescents not only whether they are sexually active but also when they last had sex.

AB - CONTEXT: Adolescent pregnancy prevention is difficult because adolescent sex is intermittent. Understanding why sexually experienced adolescents have sex after a period of abstinence will help clinicians to tailor counseling. METHODS: For up to 4.5 years between 1999 and 2006, a sample of 354 adolescent women recruited at urban primary care clinics were interviewed and tested for STDs every three months, and were asked to complete three months of daily diaries twice a year. Survival analyses were used to estimate associations between intrapersonal, relationship and STD-related characteristics and the risk of ending an abstinence period with sex. RESULTS: Participants reported 9,236 abstinence periods, which averaged 31 days. The risk that an abstinence period ended with sex increased steeply for periods of fewer than 17 days (short), rose less steeply for 17-39-day (intermediate) periods and was fairly steady for longer periods. For short periods, the risk increased with age, sexual interest, positive mood, partner support, relationship quality and history of STD diagnosis more than three months ago (hazard ratios, 1.02-1.2); it decreased as negative mood increased (0.98) and was reduced among adolescents with a recent STD diagnosis (0.9). For intermediate periods, the association with a recent STD diagnosis became positive (1.4). For long periods, sex was associated only with age, sexual interest and relationship quality. CONCLUSIONS: To provide targeted and timely sexual health counseling, clinicians may want to ask adolescents not only whether they are sexually active but also when they last had sex.

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