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Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Sexual Risk Behavior in a Diverse Sample of Female Adolescents

Rubin, AG and Gold, MA and Primack, BA (2009) Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Sexual Risk Behavior in a Diverse Sample of Female Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 22 (5). 306 - 312. ISSN 1083-3188

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Study Objective: To determine associations between depressive symptoms, locus of control, and sexual outcomes in a predominantly African-American cohort of female adolescents. Design: A computerized assessment was administered to participants as part of a larger randomized clinical trial. We assessed sexual risk behaviors (SRBs) via self-report, and we assessed depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. We used multivariate regression to determine associations between depressive symptoms and outcomes while controlling for covariates. Setting: This was a secondary analysis of baseline data collected during a randomized clinical trial intended to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Participants: 572 adolescent females, ages 13 to 21 years, were recruited via a hospital-based adolescent clinic and community-wide advertisements. Main Outcome Measures: Participants reported on prior sexual intercourse, number of lifetime partners, frequency of intercourse, history of pregnancies and STIs, and locus of control. Results: Two thirds of the sample had been sexually active. In a model that controlled for all covariates, those with a high level of depressive symptoms had higher odds of having had intercourse (adjusted OR = 2.29; 95% CI = 1.18-4.43). High levels of depressive symptoms were also independently associated with increased numbers of lifetime sexual partners and an external locus of control. However, when depression and locus of control were included in the same model, locus of control was not independently associated with SRBs. Conclusion: These findings support other literature demonstrating an association between depression and SRBs, particularly in a largely African-American population. They further suggest that perceived control does not fully explain the relationship between depression and SRBs. © 2009 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rubin, AG
Gold, MA
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: 1 October 2009
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Volume: 22
Number: 5
Page Range: 306 - 312
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jpag.2008.12.011
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
School of Medicine > Pediatrics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1083-3188
MeSH Headings: Adolescent; African Americans; Cross-Sectional Studies; Depression--epidemiology; Depression--psychology; Female; Humans; Internal-External Control; Multivariate Analysis; Risk-Taking; Sexual Behavior; Young Adult
Other ID: NLM NIHMS256346, NLM PMC3004526
PubMed Central ID: PMC3004526
PubMed ID: 19592279
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 17:09
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 15:56


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