ERIC Number: EJ788183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Rethinking Timing of First Sex and Delinquency
Harden, K. Paige; Mendle, Jane; Hill, Jennifer E.; Turkheimer, Eric; Emery, Robert E.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, v37 n4 p373-385 Apr 2008
The relation between timing of first sex and later delinquency was examined using a genetically informed sample of 534 same-sex twin pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, who were assessed at three time points over a 7-year interval. Genetic and environmental differences between families were found to account for the association between earlier age at first sex and increases in delinquency. After controlling for these genetic and environmental confounds using a quasi-experimental design, earlier age at first sex predicted lower levels of delinquency in early adulthood. The current study is contrasted with previous research with non-genetically informative samples, including Armour and Haynie ("2007, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 36", 141-152). Results suggest a more nuanced perspective on the meaning and consequences of adolescent sexuality than is commonly put forth in the literature.
Descriptors: Predictor Variables, Quasiexperimental Design, Twins, Delinquency, Adolescents, Sexuality, Correlation, Longitudinal Studies, Genetics, Environmental Influences, Age Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A