Longitudinal prediction of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents: Results from a national survey


Crosby, Richard; Leichliter, Jami S.; & Brackbill, Robert (2000). Longitudinal prediction of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents: Results from a national survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. vol. 18 (4) pp. 312-317


Background: Although adolescent use of condoms has been increasing, incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among young people remains high. To identify adolescent behavioral risk factors for acquiring STDs, this study assessed adolescent self-reports of acquired chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis within 1 year after a baseline interview.

Methods: We used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health for this study. Data were collected in the homes of survey respondents, using audio-computer-assisted self-interview (audio-CASI) technology and interviews. Participants were enrolled in grades 7–11 from 134 U.S. schools. A cohort of 4593 sexually experienced adolescents was followed for 1 year. We conducted separate analyses for both genders.

Results: About 3.1% of the male adolescents and nearly 4.7% of the female adolescents reported having had at least one STD after the baseline interview. For both genders, self-reported STD infection before baseline interview was the best predictor of self-reported STD infection 1 year after baseline interview. Female adolescents were more likely to report diagnosis with an STD after baseline if they self-identified as a minority race (other than Asian) and perceived that their mother did not disapprove of their having sex. Female adolescents were less likely to report STDs if they perceived that adults care about them. No additional variables predicted STD diagnosis after baseline for male adolescents.

Conclusions: We conclude that past history of STD infection is the most important indicator of subsequent STD infection among adolescents. Thus, this study suggests the benefit of specific clinical efforts designed to promote preventive behavior among adolescents newly diagnosed with an STD.





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Journal Article

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American Journal of Preventive Medicine


Crosby, Richard
Leichliter, Jami S.
Brackbill, Robert

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