Trends in sexual risk behaviors, by nonsexual risk behavior involvement, U.S. high school students
CANCER RESEARCH UK scientists have discovered the molecular basis for tamoxifen response in breast cancer cells - and the reason why some women can develop resistance to the treatment, according to a study published in Nature today (Wednesday). Tamoxifen is given to most women for five years after they are first diagnosed with breast cancer
Full Post: Scientists crack the code to tamoxifen resistance
Although teens who engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking and drunk driving are likelier to participate in sexual activity than more cautious peers, interventions aimed at reducing sexual activity appear to be similarly effective in high-risk and low-risk teens, a new study finds.
No matter where they fell on the risk spectrum, teens seemed positively influenced by intervention messages in the 1990s and early 2000s, when there was a decline in sexual experience and number of sexual partners across the board.
“The three biggest changes in adolescent behaviors in the last 16 years have been delaying sex, increasing the use of condoms and reducing the number of partners,” said lead author John Santelli, M.D. “All three are areas that HIV education has clearly identified as goals.”
However, while interventions aimed at reducing risky sexual behaviors in adolescents seemed successful for a while, the new data also show that this trend might be reversing, Santelli said.
Santelli works with the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
He and his colleagues analyzed data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey - a nationally representative survey of U.S. high school students - collected from 1991 to 2007. They categorized students into groups according to risky behaviors - such as smoking or alcohol use - and then looked each group’s sexual activity when it came to four parameters: ever having sexual intercourse, having four or more lifetime partners, current sexual activity and the use of contraception during the last sexual experience.
The study appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health .
Students who engaged in nonsexual high risk behaviors were three times more likely than lower risk students to say they had had four or more lifetime sexual partners. About 87 percent of students engaging in the highest risk behaviors had ever had sex, compared with only 13 percent of those engaging in low or no risk nonsexual behaviors.
Sylvana Bennett, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, also noted that the positive trend might be reversing, and that the reversal coincides with “a nationwide policy shift away from programs that included contraceptive information toward abstinence-only programs.”
She said “troubling findings of an increasing teen birth rate in 2006 and the increasing number of sexually experienced teens after a low in 1999,” just after “the federal government began limiting its funding to programs that did not mention contraception except to point out its limitations” in 2000.
“We don’t know why we were successful in the 90s,” Santelli said. “It looks like we were reaching the low-risk kids and the high-risk kids, but now it looks like [birth rates] might be coming up again - and that’s disturbing.”
Journal of Adolescent Health: Contact Tor Berg at (415) 502-1373 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jahonline.org
Santelli J, et al. Trends in sexual risk behaviors, by nonsexual risk behavior involvement, U.S. high school students, 1991-2007. J Adolesc Health online, 2008.
Adolescent health risk behaviors often occur together, suggesting that youth involvement with one risk behavior may inform understanding of other risk behaviors, but in a study to examine the association between involvement in non-sexual risk behaviors and trends among sexual behaviors, Mailman School of Public Health researchers found that sexual behaviors vary considerably between those
Full Post: Trends in sexual behaviors similar for teens who take few health risk and those who take many
In a pair of related studies released by Seattle Children’s Research Institute and published in the January 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, researchers found that 54 percent of adolescents frequently discuss high-risk activities including sexual behavior, substance abuse or violence using MySpace, the popular social networking Web site (SNS). The studies,
Full Post: Many teens discuss health risk behaviors on social networking websites
Overweight teens who weigh themselves at least once a week are more likely to engage in other healthy weight control measures than teens who step on the scale less frequently, according to a new small study. Self-weighing can be a successful tool for adults, but some concern exists that recommending the behavior could backfire with
Full Post: Self-weighing and weight control behaviors among adolescents with a history of overweight
A new study has found kids who learn how to kick, catch and throw are more likely to grow into active and fit teens. The finding carries an important message for schools and parents that it is not enough just to try to get kids more active - they need to be taught important
Full Post: Kick, catch and throw - key to obesity prevention
A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center suggests that the incidence of heterosexual anal sex is increasing among teens and young adults - particularly those who have recently had unprotected vaginal sex. These findings mirror recent data that show anal sex rates among adults doubled between the years 1995 and
Full Post: Anal sex being practiced by more teens