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Title:Sexual behaviors and contraceptive use of American adolescents: The role of religion, maternal education and school enrollment
Author(s):Stellrecht, Angela
Advisor(s):Drumond Andrade, Flavia C.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sexual behaviors
Contraceptive use
Maternal education
School enrollment
Abstract:Background: Previous studies have been conducted to determine the role of religiosity on contraceptive use and sexual attitudes among adolescents. However, fewer studies have examined the effects of maternal education and adolescent school enrollment on contraceptive use and sexual attitudes. Aims: The current study aims to use recent data to examine the influence of maternal education and school enrollment on adolescent sexual behaviors and attitudes, and to update the literature on how religiosity influences contraceptive use and sexual behaviors among adolescents. Methods: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth from the years 2002-2015 were used in the analysis. Respondents were adolescents between the ages of 15-19. The dependent variables of interest were if the participant had ever had sex and contraception use consistency. Religiosity was assessed using two measures: self-rated religious importance and religious attitudes on sexuality. Education was captured with two variables: maternal education and adolescent’s school enrollment. Descriptive statistics, logistic and multinomial regression analyses were used to explore the role of religion and education on sexual attitudes and contraceptive behavior. Results: Findings indicated that self-rated religious importance was not a significant factor in predicting sexual behaviors. However, for males, higher religious importance was associated with a higher risk of not using contraception or using contraception inconsistently. Religious attitudes on sexual behavior were significantly associated with sexual behavior for both males and females. Higher maternal education acted as a protective factor for sexual behaviors for both genders, meaning that higher maternal education reduced the risk of ever having had sex. Additionally, lower maternal education was associated with higher risk of not using contraception among males. School enrollment was a strong protective factor for sexual behaviors for both sexes and contraceptive use among females. Conclusions: Based on recent data, this study found that higher religious attitudes were associated with lower likelihood of ever having had sex. Maternal education was significantly associated with contraceptive use among males, whereas school enrollment was a protective factor for contraceptive use among females. Black females were at highest risk of engaging in sexual behaviors as well as not using contraception or using it inconsistently.
Issue Date:2017-07-17
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Angela Stellrecht
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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