Sexual behavior among Hispanic female adolescents in the United States

R. H. DuRant, Robert A Pendergrast, C. Seymore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with sexual activity in a national representative sample of Hispanic female adolescents. The subjects included all (n = 202) 15- to 19-year-old Hispanic female adolescents from the 1982 National Survey of Family Growth subdivided into Mexican-American (n = 119), Puerto Rican (n = 34), Central/South American (n = 23), Cuban (n = 9), and other Hispanic (n = 17) background groups. A total of 42% of the young women were sexually active. More Cubans (69.0%) and Central/South Americans (55.6%) reported sexual activity than the other groups, but the differences were not statistically significant. With multiple regression analysis, a significant amount of variation (total R2 = 0.367, P ≤ .001) in sexual acitivity was explained by the following variables: not being in school (22.5%), no religious affiliation (4.4%), age (3.3%), less church attendance (3.0%), older age at menarche (1.9%), and not living with both parents at age 14 years (1.9%). These findings suggest that maintaining social continuity in the areas of school, church affiliation and involvement, and family structure, as well as physical maturity are associated with Hispanic adolescent girls not becoming sexually active.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1058
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • Hispanic female adolescents
  • church involvement
  • education
  • sexual behavior
  • social continuity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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