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Associations between Religiosity and Sexual and Contraceptive Behaviors

Gold, MA and Sheftel, AV and Chiappetta, L and Young, AJ and Zuckoff, A and DiClemente, CC and Primack, BA (2010) Associations between Religiosity and Sexual and Contraceptive Behaviors. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 23 (5). 290 - 297. ISSN 1083-3188

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Study Objective: To determine associations between religiosity and female adolescents' sexual and contraceptive behaviors. Design: We conducted a secondary analysis on data from a randomized controlled trial comparing interventions designed to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Multivariable modeling assessed the association between a religiosity index consisting of items related to religious behaviors and impact of religious beliefs on decisions and sexual outcomes. Participants: 572 female adolescents aged 13 to 21, recruited via a hospital-based adolescent clinic and community-wide advertisements. Main Outcome Measures: Sexual experience, pregnancy, STDs, number of lifetime partners, frequency of sexual activity, previous contraceptive use, and planned contraceptive use. Results: Mean participant age was 17.4 ± 2.2 years and 68% had been sexually active. Most (74.1%) had a religious affiliation and over half (52.8%) reported that their religious beliefs impact their decision to have sex at least " somewhat." Multivariate analyses showed that, compared with those with low religiosity, those with high religiosity were less likely to have had sexual intercourse (OR = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.14, 0.39). Among sexually active participants, those with high religiosity were less likely to have been pregnant (OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22, 0.97), to have had an STD (OR = 0.42, 95% CI = 0.22, 0.81), or to have had multiple (≥4) lifetime partners (OR = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.21, 0.68) compared to those with low religiosity. Levels of religiosity were not significantly associated with frequency of intercourse, contraception use at last intercourse, or planned contraceptive use. Conclusion: In this cohort, religiosity appeared to be a protective factor rather than a risk factor with regard to sexual behavior and was not associated with contraception use. © 2010 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gold, MA
Sheftel, AV
Chiappetta, Llcbst11@pitt.eduLCBST11
Young, AJ
Zuckoff, Azuckoffa@pitt.eduZUCKOFFA
DiClemente, CC
Primack, BAbprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health
Date: 1 October 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Volume: 23
Number: 5
Page Range: 290 - 297
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jpag.2010.02.012
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
School of Medicine > Pediatrics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1083-3188
MeSH Headings: Adolescent; Adolescent Behavior; Contraception Behavior; Female; Humans; Odds Ratio; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Religion; Sexual Behavior; Young Adult
Other ID: NLM NIHMS208555, NLM PMC2933332
PubMed Central ID: PMC2933332
PubMed ID: 20493738
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 17:05
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 16:56


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