Childhood behavior problems and age at first sexual intercourse: A prospective birth cohort study

R.R. Skinner, Monique Robinson, Michael A. Smith, S.C.C. Robbins, Eugen Mattes, J.W. Cannon, S.L. Rosenthal, J.L. Marino, M.F. Hickey, Dorota Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Early first sexual intercourse (FSI) is a risk factor for unplanned abstract teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, and adverse social, emotional, and physical health outcomes in adolescence and into adulthood. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between internalizing (eg, anxious/depressed, withdrawn) and externalizing (eg, delinquent, aggressive) behavior problems in childhood and age at FSI. METHODS: We used a large, population-based birth cohort (The Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort [Raine] Study) to address this question. Child behavior was measured by using the Child Behavior Checklist collected from parents at ages 2, 5, 8, 10, and 14 and scores calculated for total, internalizing, and externalizing behavior problems. At age 17, 1200 participants reported sexual behavior. RESULTS: Participants with clinically significant Child Behavior Checklist scores (T ≥60) were at increased risk for earlier first sexual intercourse (FSI) (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-263
Number of pages9
JournalPediatrics
Volume135
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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