A study of sexual initiation and depressive symptomology among adolescents

Honora Ilsa Swain, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Purpose. To evaluate the relationship between sexual initiation and depressive symptomology among adolescents using longitudinal data. ^ Methods. A secondary data analysis was conducted using the "All About Youth" (AAY) survey collected between 2006-2010 and the "Healthy Passages" (HP) survey collected in three Waves, Wave 1 (2004-2006), Wave 2 (2007-2008), and Wave 3 (2010-2011). Sexual initiation (anal, oral, and vaginal) was measured via self-report in both data sets. Depressive symptomology was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) in the AAY data set and the DISC Predictive Scale (DPS) in the HP data set. Logistic regression analyses were conducted in both data sets to determine the relationship between these variables while controlling for covariates. ^ Setting. This study involves (1) an analysis of the AAY data collected from students in the 8th and 9th grade control groups during a randomized controlled trial of two sexual education interventions in 15 urban middle schools in southeast Texas and (2) an analysis of the HP data collected from 7th and 10th grade students from schools in Birmingham, AL, Houston, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. ^ Results. Overall, sexual initiation did not significantly predict depressive symptomology in either the AAY or HP study sample. However, in HP, females who initiated sex in 7th grade were more likely to experience depressive symptomology in 10th grade (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) =2.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 6.0). In HP, students who had depressive symptomology in 7th grade were more likely to initiate sex in 10th grade (AOR=1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.9). Also, males who experienced depressive symptomology in 7th grade were also more likely to initiate sex in 10th grade (AOR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.9). ^ Conclusion. Experiencing depressive symptomology could place adolescents at risk of engaging in sex (oral, anal, and/or vaginal). Additionally, engaging in sex may also place some adolescent subgroups at risk of experiencing depressive symptomology. Further research is needed to understand the mechanism of the relationship between sexual initiation and depressive symptomology, and to determine whether interventions to prevent either sexual initiation or depressive symptomology can reduce the risk of either outcome.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Social|Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Swain, Honora Ilsa, "A study of sexual initiation and depressive symptomology among adolescents" (2014). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3665057.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3665057

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