Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of straninfSexually Transmitted InfectionsVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Sex Transm Infect. 2004 April; 80(2): 130–137.
PMCID: PMC1351212

Perceived STD risk, relationship, and health values in adolescents' delaying sexual intercourse with new partners


Objectives: To examine the amount of time adolescents waited to have intercourse with past partners (main and casual), and intentions to delay with future partners. To determine psychosocial factors which predict delay intentions among adolescent males and females with future partners (main and casual).

Methods: Adolescent STD clinic attendees were approached before clinical appointments to participate in an interview. Data from 205 participants who had previous experience with both main and casual partners were used in the current study.

Results: Adolescents waited less time to have intercourse with most recent casual than with most recent main partners (χ2 = 31.97, p<0.0001). The amount of time waited with past partners was shorter than intended time to wait in future relationships (medians of 1 month v 2 months (main) (t = 3.47, p<0.0010; medians of 2 weeks v 1 month (casual) (t = 6.14, p<0.0001)). Factors influencing intentions to delay intercourse with future main partners differed by sex; males were negatively influenced by importance of sex in relationships, while females were positively influenced by importance of intimacy in relationships, perceived risk of STDs, and health values.

Conclusions: Implications for designing interventions for adolescent males and females are discussed.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (285K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Tschann JM, Adler NE. Sexual self-acceptance, communication with partner, and contraceptive use among adolescent females: a longitudinal study. J Res Adolesc. 1997;7(4):413–430. [PubMed]
  • Cobb BK. Communication types and sexual protective practices of college women. Public Health Nurs. 1997 Oct;14(5):293–301. [PubMed]
  • Coleman LM, Ingham R. Exploring young people's difficulties in talking about contraception: how can we encourage more discussion between partners? Health Educ Res. 1999 Dec;14(6):741–750. [PubMed]
  • Fisher JD, Fisher WA. Changing AIDS-risk behavior. Psychol Bull. 1992 May;111(3):455–474. [PubMed]
  • Rickman RL, Lodico M, DiClemente RJ, Morris R, Baker C, Huscroft S. Sexual communication is associated with condom use by sexually active incarcerated adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 1994 Jul;15(5):383–388. [PubMed]
  • Rosenberg MD, Gurvey JE, Adler N, Dunlop MB, Ellen JM. Concurrent sex partners and risk for sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents. Sex Transm Dis. 1999 Apr;26(4):208–212. [PubMed]
  • Carvajal SC, Parcel GS, Banspach SW, Basen-Engquist K, Coyle KK, Kirby D, Chan W. Psychosocial predictors of delay of first sexual intercourse by adolescents. Health Psychol. 1999 Sep;18(5):443–452. [PubMed]
  • DiIorio C, Kelley M, Hockenberry-Eaton M. Communication about sexual issues: mothers, fathers, and friends. J Adolesc Health. 1999 Mar;24(3):181–189. [PubMed]
  • Miller KS, Clark LF, Wendell DA, Levin ML, Gray-Ray P, Velez CN, Webber MP. Adolescent heterosexual experience: a new typology. J Adolesc Health. 1997 Mar;20(3):179–186. [PubMed]
  • Howard MM, Fortenberry JD, Blythe MJ, Zimet GD, Orr DP. Patterns of sexual partnerships among adolescent females. J Adolesc Health. 1999 May;24(5):300–303. [PubMed]
  • Rosengard C, Adler NE, Gurvey JE, Dunlop MB, Tschann JM, Millstein SG, Ellen JM. Protective role of health values in adolescents' future intentions to use condoms. J Adolesc Health. 2001 Sep;29(3):200–207. [PubMed]
  • MacCallum Robert C, Zhang Shaobo, Preacher Kristopher J, Rucker Derek D. On the practice of dichotomization of quantitative variables. Psychol Methods. 2002 Mar;7(1):19–40. [PubMed]
  • Kelly JA, Kalichman SC. Increased attention to human sexuality can improve HIV-AIDS prevention efforts: key research issues and directions. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1995 Dec;63(6):907–918. [PubMed]
  • Lewis JE, Malow RM, Ireland SJ. HIV/AIDS risk in heterosexual college students. A review of a decade of literature. J Am Coll Health. 1997 Jan;45(4):147–158. [PubMed]
  • Buysse A, Van Oost P. 'Appropriate' male and female safer sexual behaviour in heterosexual relationships. AIDS Care. 1997 Oct;9(5):549–561. [PubMed]
  • Tschann Jeanne M, Adler Nancy E, Millstein Susan G, Gurvey Jill E, Ellen Jonathan M. Relative power between sexual partners and condom use among adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2002 Jul;31(1):17–25. [PubMed]
  • Cooper ML, Shapiro CM, Powers AM. Motivations for sex and risky sexual behavior among adolescents and young adults: a functional perspective. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Dec;75(6):1528–1558. [PubMed]
  • Taris TW, Semin GR. Gender as a moderator of the effects of the love motive and relational context on sexual experience. Arch Sex Behav. 1997 Apr;26(2):159–180. [PubMed]

Articles from Sexually Transmitted Infections are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group