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Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Teens at an Urban Emergency Department: Relationship With Violent Behaviors and Substance Use

Walton, M. A.,
Resko, S.,
Whiteside, L.,
Chermack, S. T.,
Zimmerman, M.,
Cunningham, R. M.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2011
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Journal of Adolescent Health, 48(3):303-305, March 2011
National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (Grant No. 014889)

These authors describe rates and correlates of sexual risk behaviors among adolescents screened in an urban emergency department (ED) over a 1-year period. A total of 1,576 patients (ages 14-18 years; 59.3 percent African American) completed a computerized survey. Among sexually active adolescents (60 percent), 12 percent reported 4 or more partners, 45.3 percent reported using a condom all the time, and 14.7 percent reported using substances before sex. Regression models showed that males and younger teens were more likely to report condom use than females and older teens. Participants with poor grades were more likely to have had sex and used substances before sex, and less likely to report condom use. Teens reporting dating violence were more likely to have had sex and less likely to have used condoms, whereas those reporting peer violence and weapon carriage were more likely to report substance use before sex. Binge drinking and marijuana use were associated with all sex risk behaviors. The authors suggest that visits to an urban ED may provide an opportunity to deliver interventions to address sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: M. A. Walton, M.P.H., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Rachel Upjohn Building, 4250 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; E-mail:; Website:
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