Relationships Between Adolescent Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Sexual Risk Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

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Abstract

Introduction: This study examined longitudinal associations between stressful life events and depressive symptoms, assessed during two time points of adolescence, and sexual risk behavior, assessed during young adulthood. Methods: Structural equation modeling was conducted with three waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Results: Analyses revealed bidirectional relationships between stressful life events and depressive symptoms during the two time points of adolescence. Adolescent depressive symptoms indirectly affected young adult sexual risk behavior through adolescent stressful life events. Adolescent stressful life events during late adolescence were directly associated with young adult sexual risk behavior. Discussion: Findings highlight the need to screen for both depression and stressful life events during adolescence, to identify at-risk adolescents and deliver tailored interventions to prevent sexual risk behavior during young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-403
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This dissertation research was supported by a fellowship from the University of Minnesota , Center for Personalized Prevention Research in Children's Mental Health and by the Sofia Fund for Public Health Projects.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Keywords

  • Depression
  • adolescent
  • sexual risk behavior
  • stressful life events

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