Associations Between Alcohol Use in Adolescence And Sexual Risk During Adulthood Vary by Race
This author highlights findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) showing that associations between alcohol use during adolescence and sexual risk during young adulthood vary by race. The analysts used two waves of data for 7,741 white and 3,042 black participants. Wave 1 was conducted in 1994-1995 among youth with a median age of 16, and Wave 3 was carried out in 2001-2002 when they were 18-28 years old. Results show that black participants who reported drinking more than once a month during adolescence had elevated odds of reporting multiple recent partners during young adulthood; no such association was found for whites. Among whites, those who reported getting drunk in the past year during adolescence were more likely to test positive for an STD in young adulthood, but the same was not true for blacks. These and other findings expand on earlier work based on more limited measures and samples.