The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making
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The Contexts for Adolescent Female Sexual Decision-making. Robert Wm. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD William H. Gates, Sr. Professor and Chair Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prepared for: Girls Decide Conference

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The Contexts for Adolescent Female Sexual Decision-making

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The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

The Contexts for Adolescent Female Sexual Decision-making

Robert Wm. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD

William H. Gates, Sr. Professor and Chair

Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Prepared for:

Girls Decide Conference

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

16-17 September 2010


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

EnvironmentalIndividual

FactorsFactors

Response

Outcome

Biological

Factors

Neighborhood

Involuntary

Response

Family

Individual

Response

Poverty

Early Sexual Engagement

Peers

Discrimination

School

Voluntary

Response

Inequality

Temperament & Cognitive Factors


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Outcome

Individual

Response

Early Sexual Engagement


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Outcome

Policies

Individual Response

Neighborhood

Early Sexual engagement

Customs

Social change


Neighborhood factors poverty

Neighborhood Factors: Poverty

  • Lower grades

  • Lower educational attainment

  • More school drop out

  • More precocious sexual activity/child bearing


How does poverty impact outcomes

How does Poverty Impact Outcomes?

  • Less social and financial capital

  • More social disorganization

  • Less collective efficiency

  • More discrimination

  • More inequality


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

Environmental

Factors

Outcome

Policies

Family

Individual Response

Neighborhood

Early sexual engagement

Customs

Social Change


Family factors

Family Factors

Globally family has consistently been shown to be the most protective factor in the lives of young people.

When adolescent girls report connection to parents they are less likely to engage in early sexual behaviors


Elements of positive parenting

Elements of Positive Parenting

  • Behavioral Monitoring

  • Closeness and Connectedness

  • Emotional Responsiveness

  • Knowing child’s friends, their friends’ parents, their teachers

  • Setting high behavioral and educational expectations


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

Environmental

Factors

Outcome

Policies

Family

Individual

Response

Neighborhood

Early Sexual engagement

Customs

School

Social change


School factors

School Factors

Young girls who are attached to school marry later and delay first sexual encounters.


Factors that appear to influence school attachment

Factors that Appear to Influence School Attachment

  • Perceiving teachers as emotionally caring

  • Experiencing academic support

  • Not experiencing discrimination based on gender or SES

  • Parental support for schooling

  • Believing that education will improve future prospects


Behavioral consequences of low school engagement vietnam data

Behavioral Consequences of Low School Engagement (Vietnam data)

  • Ever smoked

  • Ever been drunk

  • Less likely to always wear a motorcycle a helmet

  • Low self esteem

  • More often hanging out on streets and causing public disorder

  • Less optimistic about the future

  • More likely to think of suicide

  • More often having premarital sex

    Blum et al. 2010


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

Environmental

Factors

Outcome

Policies

Family

Individual Response

Neighborhood

Early sexual engagement

Peers

customs

School

Social change


Peers

Peers

Peers tend to be a positive socializing force.


Close prosocial peer relationships are associated with

Close Prosocial Peer Relationships are associated with:

  • Later age first sex

  • Less tobacco use,

  • Less depression

  • Less drug use

  • Better academic performance


Peer pressure

Peer Pressure

Youth are more likely to conform behaviorally to the views of peers than parents.

Additionally, they conform more to their perceptions of peer behaviors than what their friends actually do.


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Moel

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

EnvironmentalIndividual

FactorsFactors

Outcome

Biological

Factors

Policies

Family

Individual Response

Neighborhood

Early Sexual

engagement

Peers

Customs

School

Social change


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

Brain development occurs within the context of the environment.

Environments have both direct and indirect effects.


Adolescent neurodevelopment and behavior

Adolescent Neurodevelopment and behavior

  • During adolescence the frontal lobe fully develops

  • Frontal lobe controls executive functioning: emotional reactivity, impulse control, reasoned actions

  • “Toxic” environments diminish emotional control


The contexts for adolescent female sexual decision making

A Contextual Model

Macrolevel

Environmental

Factors

Proximal Level

EnvironmentalIndividual

FactorsFactors

Response

Outcome

Biological

Factors

Policies

Involuntary

Response

Family

Individual Response

Neighborhood

Early Sexual engagement

Peers

Customs

School

Voluntary

Response

Social change

Temperament & Cognitive Factors


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