Does early sexual debut reduce teenagers' participation in tertiary education? Evidence from the SHARE longitudinal study

Parkes, A. , Wight, D. , Henderson, M. and West, P. (2010) Does early sexual debut reduce teenagers' participation in tertiary education? Evidence from the SHARE longitudinal study. Journal of Adolescence, 33(5), pp. 741-754. (doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.10.006) (PMID:19897236) (PMCID:PMC2946557)

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Abstract

Negative effects of early sexual debut on academic outcomes can extend beyond secondary school, although concurrent changes in other psychosocial risk factors have not been investigated. Data from three waves of a longitudinal survey of Scottish teenagers were used to examine associations between early sexual debut (first heterosexual intercourse) and both expectations for (N = 5,061) and participation in (N = 2,130) tertiary education at college or university. Early debut was associated with reduced tertiary education, after adjusting for academic performance and wave 1 confounders relating to social background, attitudes and behaviours. Pregnancy/partner pregnancy did not explain all of this finding, as many sexually experienced teenagers opted out of tertiary education after leaving school early for other reasons. Changes in other psychosocial risk factors between waves 1 and 2 mediated much of the association found. Early sexual experience may predict disengagement from tertiary education, although further research is needed to explore causal pathways. (C) 2009 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wight, Professor Daniel and Parkes, Dr Alison and Henderson, Dr Marion and West, Prof Patrick
Authors: Parkes, A., Wight, D., Henderson, M., and West, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Journal of Adolescence
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN:0140-1971
ISSN (Online):1095-9254
Published Online:07 November 2009
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents
First Published:First published in Journal of Adolescence 33(5):741-754
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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