New Study Examines Adolescents' Partners and Condom Use
August 31, 2001
A new study in Family Planning Perspectives examined the association between demographic characteristics of adolescents' heterosexual partners and adolescents' use of condoms and contraception. Researchers analyzed nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health which included in-school surveys and at-home interviews with students in grades 7 through 12.
To determine characteristics of adolescents' heterosexual partners, researchers looked at a variety of measures including: type of partner (whether romantic or nonromantic); duration of relationship (measured by number of months from first intercourse to last intercourse); age, race and ethnicity, grade, school (whether partner attended same school); and neighborhood (whether partner lived in same neighborhood). Researchers then looked at condom use to determine if condoms were ever used and if they were used every time and contraceptive use to determine whether a contraceptive method was used and if another method of contraception was used in combination with condoms.
The authors conclude that many adolescents have relationships with partners whose characteristics differ from their own. They go on to say that to provide appropriate counseling, educators and health care providers need to discuss the dynamics of relationships involving partners who differ in age or other characteristics.
For more information: K. Ford, W. Sohn, and J. Lepkowski, "Characteristics of Adolescents' Sexual Partners and Their Association with Use of Condoms and Other Contraceptive Methods," Family Planning Perspectives, 2001, vol. 33, no. 3, pp.100-105,132.
This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.