Illicit drug use and risky sexual behavior among African American and Puerto Rican urban adolescents: The longitudinal links

Judith S. Brook, Richard E. Adams, Elinor B. Balka, Martin Whiteman, Chenshu Zhang, Rebecca Sugerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors assessed whether (a) early illicit drug use predicted later risky sexual activity, (b) early risky sex predicted later illicit drug use, and (c) common factors affected both risky sexual behavior and illicit drug use. African American and Puerto Rican youth completed questionnaires in their classrooms at Time 1 (T1) and face-to-face interviews with the authors in their homes 5 years later at Time 2 (T2). Logistic regression analyses showed the association between T1 illicit drug use and T2 risky sexual activity and between T1 risky sexual behavior and T2 illicit drug use. With few exceptions, T1 illicit drug use was associated with all of the T2 risky sexual behaviors. After controlling for demographic factors, the authors found that multiple sex partners at T1 was not related to illicit drug use at T2. Condom use at T1 was related to illicit drug use at T2, whereas sexually transmitted diseases and adolescent pregnancy were not related to this drug use. The findings indicated that assessments of and treatments for substance use should focus on the risky sexual behaviors that seem to accompany illicit drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Volume165
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethnic minority youth
  • Problem behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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