We examined the range of sexual intentions and behaviors preceding sexual initiation among 211 African American pre-teens assigned to the control arm of a longitudinal community-based intervention trial. Stage of sexual readiness was assessed using the stage of change construct from the Transtheoretical Model, and patterns of stage movement during a 6-month period were examined. Overall, 90% of participants were in precontemplation at baseline, with the proportion of participants in this stage declining with each year of age. There was substantial stability in stage of sexual readiness during the 6-month period (87% stable). While definitive conclusions regarding exact patterns of movement are not yet possible, stage movement does not appear to be linear for all pre-teens, and there is evidence of both stage progression and regression. We present emerging patterns of stage movement, which suggest potential variation by age, gender, and baseline stage, and discuss potential implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- History and Philosophy of Science