Although research has increasingly emphasized how adolescent sexual behavior may be associated with aspects of health beyond unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, no current theoretical or conceptual model fully explains associations between sexual behavior and multiple facets of health. We provide a conceptual model that explicates possible processes of how adolescent sexual behavior may influence physical, mental, and social health. Next, we review the current literature consistent with this conceptual model, demonstrating that although early sexual behavior can be associated with some negative outcomes, sex may be, on average, a positive experience in late adolescence. Finally, we discuss important future directions for research in these areas, including how individuals' attitudes about and perceptions of sexual behavior influence outcomes of sex.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology