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04-11-2016 | Uitgave 6/2017

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 6/2017

Predicting Risky Sexual Behavior: the Unique and Interactive Roles of Childhood Conduct Disorder Symptoms and Callous-Unemotional Traits

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 6/2017
Auteurs:
Sarah L. Anderson, Yao Zheng, Robert J. McMahon

Abstract

Conduct disorder (CD) symptoms and callous-unemotional (CU) traits have been shown to be uniquely associated with risky sexual behavior (RSB) in adolescence and early adulthood, yet their interactive role in predicting RSB remains largely unknown. This study aimed to investigate the predictive value of CD symptoms and CU traits, as well as their interaction, on several RSB outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood. A total of 683 participants (41.7 % female, 47.4 % African American) were followed annually and self-reported age of first sexual intercourse, frequency of condom use, pregnancy, contraction of sexually transmitted infections, and engagement in sexual solicitation from grade 7 to 2-years post-high school. CD symptoms predicted age of first sexual intercourse, condom use, and sexual solicitation. CU traits predicted age of first sexual intercourse and pregnancy. Their interaction predicted a composite score of these RSBs such that CD symptoms positively predicted the composite score among those with high levels of CU traits but not among those with low levels of CU traits. The current findings provide information regarding the importance of both CD symptoms and CU traits in understanding adolescent and early adulthood RSB, as well as the benefits of examining multiple RSB outcomes during this developmental period. These findings have implications for the development and implementation of preventive efforts to target these risky behaviors among adolescents and young adults.

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