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      Condom use, frequency of sex, and number of partners: multidimensional characterization of adolescent sexual risk-taking.

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          Abstract

          Sexual health research often relies on single risk indicators. However multi-variable composites may better capture the underlying construct of risk-taking. Latent Profile Analysis identified subgroups based on condom use consistency, partner numbers, and sex frequency among 605 adolescents. Three profiles were identified for each of grades 8 to 10 (Condom Users, Few Partners, and Risk-Takers) and 4 in grades 11 and 12 (Condom Users, One Partner Two Partners, and Risk-Takers). Inconsistent condom use groups reported more non-condom (and often less effective) birth control use and STD and pregnancy histories. Females had greater representation in the Few Partners, One Partners, and Two Partners groups, which also contained increasing proportions of participants in each subsequent year. Males had greater representation in the Risk-Takers group. A profile approach to measurement has methodological advantages, can add to substantive knowledge, and can inform content, timing, and targets of sexual health interventions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Sex Res
          Journal of sex research
          0022-4499
          0022-4499
          Aug 2005
          : 42
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle, WA 98105, USA. blairb@u.washington.edu
          Article
          10.1080/00224490509552274
          19817033
          906e6089-c5a2-4de1-931e-4c5c71df1c24

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