Transitions to substance use and sexual intercourse among South African high school students

Lori Ann Palen, Edward A. Smith, Linda L. Caldwell, Catherine Mathews, Tania Vergnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined longitudinal patterns of initiating substance use and sexual intercourse among a sample of 1,143 high school students from a low-income township in Cape Town, South Africa. Longitudinal data on lifetime incidence of sexual intercourse and alcohol and marijuana use were collected semiannually from 2004 to 2006. Latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to test competing models of transitions to these behaviors. Participants were more likely to move from no risk behavior to substance use, rather than from no risk behavior to sexual intercourse. At all time points, the proportion of youth who had engaged in sexual intercourse but not substance use was very small. The study's limitations and directions for future research are discussed. This research was funded by NIH Grants R01 DA01749 and T32 DA017629-01A1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1872-1887
Number of pages16
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume44
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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