ERIC Number: EJ1063728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Pubertal Development and Sexual Intercourse among Adolescent Girls: An Examination of Direct, Mediated, and Spurious Pathways
Savolainen, Jukka; Mason, W. Alex; Hughes, Lorine A.; Ebeling, Hanna; Hurtig, Tuula M.; Taanila, Anja M.
Youth & Society, v47 n4 p520-538 Jul 2015
There are strong reasons to assume that early onset of puberty accelerates coital debut among adolescent girls. Although many studies support this assumption, evidence regarding the putative causal processes is limited and inconclusive. In this research, longitudinal data from the 1986 Northern Finland Birth Cohort Study (N = 2,596) were used to address three theoretical explanations: (a) a "direct" effect premised on biological processes, (b) a "mediated" path based on social psychological processes, and (c) a "spurious" effect derived from the evolutionary theory of socialization. In support of the social psychological pathway, the negative association between age at menarche and coital status at age 15 was almost fully mediated by differential "social exposure"--an empirical construct measuring involvement in high-risk social contexts.
Descriptors: Puberty, Females, Adolescents, Sexuality, Influences, Longitudinal Studies, Biology, Psychological Patterns, Social Influences, Socialization, Correlation, Age Differences, Foreign Countries, Peer Influence, Delinquency, At Risk Persons, Individual Characteristics, Substance Abuse, Family Environment, Family Influence, Environmental Influences, Structural Equation Models, Factor Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland