Health  Vol.5 No.6 C , June 2013
Developmental assets and age of first sexual intercourse among adolescent African American males in Mobile, Alabama

Background and Aims: Younger age at first sexual intercourse is associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes. We aimed to gain a clearer understanding of a wide range of individual, family and social factors that may influence sexual behavior of children and adolescents. Specifically, we examined the relationships of developmental assets with age of first sexual intercourse among a large sample (n = 1061) of adolescent African American males living in low-income neighborhoods in Mobile, Alabama. Methods: Using the Developmental Asset Model as a theoretical guide, we selected variables from adolescent survey data and conducted logistic regression analysis to determine predictors of early age of first sexual intercourse. Results: Nearly one half (49%) of the male survey participants reported that they first had sexual intercourse at the age of 12 or younger. The total number of assets was the strongest predictor of later age (13 years old or later) of first sexual intercourse (OR 1.49, 95% CI = 1.09, 2.04), followed by decision-making skills (OR 1.40, 95% CI = 1.04, 1.86), and positive view of the future (OR 1.36, 95% CI = 1.02, 1.74). Conclusion: There are several developmental assets related to the age of first sexual intercourse. This study found support for the Developmental Asset Model as a framework for promoting sexual and overall adolescent health. Recommendations for asset-building among this population are discussed.

Cite this paper: Talbott, S. , Henderson, J. , Stonecipher, L. , Bolland, J. and Lian, B. (2013) Developmental assets and age of first sexual intercourse among adolescent African American males in Mobile, Alabama. Health, 5, 26-32. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.56A3005.

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