The Impact of Delinquency on Young Adult Sexual Risk Behaviors and Sexually Transmitted Infections

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27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Youth in the juvenile justice system have increased sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, research exploring the effect of self-reported delinquency on sexual risk behavior and STI is limited, and results vary depending on the populations studied. Therefore, we used nationally representative data to examine the longitudinal association between delinquent behavior, sexual risk behavior, and STI among adolescents and young adults. Methods: We used a sample of 10,828 participants from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Health. Outcomes included STI and sexual risk behavior from Wave III (17-27-year-olds). Predictors for the generalized linear regression models (stratified by gender) include race, age, education, relationship status at Wave III, and delinquent behavior groups (life-course persistent, adolescence-limited, late-onset and nondelinquency). Results: None of the delinquency groups were associated with young adult STI. Only life-course persistent delinquency was associated consistently with sexual risk behavior (except for condom use). The adolescence-limited and late-onset groups had limited effects on sexual risk outcomes. Conclusions: Life-course persistent delinquency influences the expression of young adult sexual risk behavior. However, delinquent behavior does not predict STI in a population-based sample of youth. Programs and interventions that address the sexual health of youth need to consider the role of delinquency in shaping sexual risk behaviors, and future research should explore broader societal and environmental risk factors on STIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Risk-Taking
Sexual Behavior
Young Adult
Linear Models
National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
Reproductive Health
Social Justice
Condoms
Population
Education
Research

Keywords

  • Adolescent sexuality
  • Delinquent behavior
  • Sexually transmitted disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

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title = "The Impact of Delinquency on Young Adult Sexual Risk Behaviors and Sexually Transmitted Infections",
abstract = "Purpose: Youth in the juvenile justice system have increased sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, research exploring the effect of self-reported delinquency on sexual risk behavior and STI is limited, and results vary depending on the populations studied. Therefore, we used nationally representative data to examine the longitudinal association between delinquent behavior, sexual risk behavior, and STI among adolescents and young adults. Methods: We used a sample of 10,828 participants from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Health. Outcomes included STI and sexual risk behavior from Wave III (17-27-year-olds). Predictors for the generalized linear regression models (stratified by gender) include race, age, education, relationship status at Wave III, and delinquent behavior groups (life-course persistent, adolescence-limited, late-onset and nondelinquency). Results: None of the delinquency groups were associated with young adult STI. Only life-course persistent delinquency was associated consistently with sexual risk behavior (except for condom use). The adolescence-limited and late-onset groups had limited effects on sexual risk outcomes. Conclusions: Life-course persistent delinquency influences the expression of young adult sexual risk behavior. However, delinquent behavior does not predict STI in a population-based sample of youth. Programs and interventions that address the sexual health of youth need to consider the role of delinquency in shaping sexual risk behaviors, and future research should explore broader societal and environmental risk factors on STIs.",
keywords = "Adolescent sexuality, Delinquent behavior, Sexually transmitted disease",
author = "Matthew Aalsma and Yan Tong and Sarah Wiehe and Wanzhu Tu",
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N2 - Purpose: Youth in the juvenile justice system have increased sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, research exploring the effect of self-reported delinquency on sexual risk behavior and STI is limited, and results vary depending on the populations studied. Therefore, we used nationally representative data to examine the longitudinal association between delinquent behavior, sexual risk behavior, and STI among adolescents and young adults. Methods: We used a sample of 10,828 participants from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Health. Outcomes included STI and sexual risk behavior from Wave III (17-27-year-olds). Predictors for the generalized linear regression models (stratified by gender) include race, age, education, relationship status at Wave III, and delinquent behavior groups (life-course persistent, adolescence-limited, late-onset and nondelinquency). Results: None of the delinquency groups were associated with young adult STI. Only life-course persistent delinquency was associated consistently with sexual risk behavior (except for condom use). The adolescence-limited and late-onset groups had limited effects on sexual risk outcomes. Conclusions: Life-course persistent delinquency influences the expression of young adult sexual risk behavior. However, delinquent behavior does not predict STI in a population-based sample of youth. Programs and interventions that address the sexual health of youth need to consider the role of delinquency in shaping sexual risk behaviors, and future research should explore broader societal and environmental risk factors on STIs.

AB - Purpose: Youth in the juvenile justice system have increased sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted infections (STI). However, research exploring the effect of self-reported delinquency on sexual risk behavior and STI is limited, and results vary depending on the populations studied. Therefore, we used nationally representative data to examine the longitudinal association between delinquent behavior, sexual risk behavior, and STI among adolescents and young adults. Methods: We used a sample of 10,828 participants from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Health. Outcomes included STI and sexual risk behavior from Wave III (17-27-year-olds). Predictors for the generalized linear regression models (stratified by gender) include race, age, education, relationship status at Wave III, and delinquent behavior groups (life-course persistent, adolescence-limited, late-onset and nondelinquency). Results: None of the delinquency groups were associated with young adult STI. Only life-course persistent delinquency was associated consistently with sexual risk behavior (except for condom use). The adolescence-limited and late-onset groups had limited effects on sexual risk outcomes. Conclusions: Life-course persistent delinquency influences the expression of young adult sexual risk behavior. However, delinquent behavior does not predict STI in a population-based sample of youth. Programs and interventions that address the sexual health of youth need to consider the role of delinquency in shaping sexual risk behaviors, and future research should explore broader societal and environmental risk factors on STIs.

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