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ERIC Number: EJ994548
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-1537-4416
Bidirectional Linkages between Psychological Symptoms and Sexual Activities among African American Adolescent Girls in Psychiatric Care
Starr, Lisa R.; Donenberg, Geri R.; Emerson, Erin
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, v41 n6 p811-821 2012
The current study examines longitudinal associations between light and heavy sexual experiences and psychiatric symptoms in African American adolescent girls receiving mental health care. Research supports bidirectional associations between adolescent romantic and sexual behaviors and depression and other mental health problems, but this finding has not been examined among African American youth or in clinical samples. African American girls in psychiatric treatment suffer disparities in HIV/AIDS vulnerability, and understanding the context of girls' risk-taking (and how psychological symptoms contribute) may aid prevention efforts. Two-hundred-sixty-five African American girls seeking psychiatric care were assessed for mental health symptoms and light and heavy sexual behaviors. Participants completed a 6-month follow-up. Baseline light sexual activity predicted increased internalizing and externalizing symptoms and substance use at follow-up. Internalizing and externalizing symptoms predicted increased heavy sexual behaviors over time, including HIV-risk behaviors. Results support the association between romantic involvement and depression. Psychological symptoms may play a key role in the emergence of risky sexual behaviors among African American adolescent girls in psychiatric care and should be considered in prevention program development. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A