July 24, 2006
The authors conducted the study to estimate trends in use and nonuse of effective protection among adolescents from 1991 through 2003 and to assess factors associated with poorly protected sex in 2003.
The researchers analyzed seven Youth Risk Behavior Surveys of 9th-12th graders conducted from 1991 through 2003. They estimated trends in condom use, effective contraception, withdrawal, and no method using linear logistic regression models, and they evaluated correlates of the use of no method or withdrawal in 2003.
The authors found that throughout 1991-2003, about one-third of students reported being sexually active in the previous three months. Condom use increased significantly throughout 1991-2003, the study found, from 46.2 percent (± 3.3 percent) in 1991 to 63 percent (± 2.5 percent) in 2003. The percentage reporting use of withdrawal or no method steadily declined, from 32.6 percent (± 2.7 percent) to 18.8 percent (± 2.1 percent).
In 2003, use of withdrawal or no method was greater among females, Hispanics, those who had been pregnant or who had caused a pregnancy, and those who reported feeling sad or hopeless or who had considered suicide.
"Reported unprotected sex decreased, while use of condoms increased," the authors concluded. "A high-risk group engaging in poorly protected sex was identified, accounting for 6.4 percent of students."