Consistency of adolescents' self-report of sexual behavior in a longitudinal study

Cheryl S. Alexander, Mark R. Somerfield, Margaret Ensminger, Karin E. Johnson, Young J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examines three issues relevant to adolescent self-reported sexual behavior: the extent to which adolescents rescind reports of sexual intercourse, changes in reporting of lifetime sexual intercourse, and changes in reported age at first sexual intercourse. Data come from a three-year longitudinal study of health-compromising behaviors among a cohort a 758 rural adolescents. Students completed a self-administered questionnaire on health behaviors annually in eighth, ninth, and tenth grades. Findings show that 88.8% of students in eighth grade and 94.3% in ninth grade who reported having had sexual intercourse gave the same answer in a subsequent year. Approximately 15% of students reported fewer numbers of lifetime sexual intercourse experiences in tenth grade than they did in ninth grade. Age at first sexual intercourse was reported inconsistently by 67% of the students. Inconsistency rates differed by racial-gender groups, question sensitivity, and prior sexual experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-471
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1993

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Coitus
Sexual Behavior
Self Report
Longitudinal Studies
longitudinal study
school grade
adolescent
health behavior
Students
student
experience
Health Behavior
questionnaire
gender
Group
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Consistency of adolescents' self-report of sexual behavior in a longitudinal study. / Alexander, Cheryl S.; Somerfield, Mark R.; Ensminger, Margaret; Johnson, Karin E.; Kim, Young J.

In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 22, No. 5, 10.1993, p. 455-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alexander, Cheryl S. ; Somerfield, Mark R. ; Ensminger, Margaret ; Johnson, Karin E. ; Kim, Young J. / Consistency of adolescents' self-report of sexual behavior in a longitudinal study. In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 1993 ; Vol. 22, No. 5. pp. 455-471.
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