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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1851;

Socio-Demographic, Health and Lifestyle Factors Influencing Age of Sexual Initiation among Adolescents

Health Promotion Research Centre, Discipline of Health Promotion, School of Health Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teenage Reproductive Health)
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Behavioural and developmental factors mean that adolescents who initiate sexual intercourse early may be at an increased risk of adverse sexual health outcomes at the time of first sex and later in life. In an Irish context, there is insufficient knowledge about the specific correlates of early sexual initiation. This research explores relationships between contextual socio-demographic, health and lifestyle factors and the timing of first sexual intercourse among 15–17-year-olds in Ireland. Multiple regression analysis was carried out in conjunction with Multiple Imputation using data collected through the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Ireland study on a sample of 879 sexually active adolescents. The socio-demographic and lifestyle factors measured were a stronger predictor of age of sexual initiation among girls than boys. Risk behaviour initiation was significantly related to age of sexual initiation for adolescents, while alcohol use/drunkenness and unhealthy food consumption was significant among girls only. Family support and number of male friends were significant predictors for boys only. The study highlights the need for holistic approaches to sexual health promotion and provides a foundation for the development of alternative strategies and policies aimed at reducing negative health, well-being, educational and economic outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexual behaviour; sexual initiation; early sex; adolescents; Ireland sexual behaviour; sexual initiation; early sex; adolescents; Ireland
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Burke, L.; Nic Gabhainn, S.; Kelly, C. Socio-Demographic, Health and Lifestyle Factors Influencing Age of Sexual Initiation among Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1851.

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