Developmental and Personalogical Correlates of Adolescent Sexual Behavior and Outcome

Michael David Resnick, Robert William Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An extensive literature has developed which explores the sociological and psychological characteristics of sexually active adolescents. A more recent to sexual decision making provides a useful research paradigm for approaching issues of adolescent sexual behavior and outcomes. In a study of 206 adolescent females in St. Paul and Minneapolis, developmental and personalogical characteristics were examined for four groups: successful contraceptors, aborters, mothers, and pregnant teens. Aborters were characterized by their highly developed future time perspective and modern sex role orientation. Mothers had the least developed future time perspective and sense of personal efficacy, and the most traditional sex role orientation. They also tended to be highly anxious, passive, dependent, and prone toward denial as a cognitive style. Successful contraceptors were best described by their complex cognition and ego development, although contrary to expectation, did not evidence a more well developed future time perspective or modern sex role orientation than did aborters. Pregnant teens had the least distinguishing characteristics of all groups. Implications for future comparative group analyses are discussed including both the sociological and developmental assessment of sexual decision making and its consequences for youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-314
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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