A Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Risk and Problem Behaviors: The Case of Adolescent Sexual Behavior

Guilamo-Ramos, Vincent; Jaccard, James; Dittus, Patricia; Gonzalez, Bernardo; Bouris, Alida
March 2008
Social Work Research;Mar2008, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
A framework for the analysis of adolescent problem behaviors was explicated that draws on five major theories of human behavior. The framework emphasizes intentions to perform behaviors and factors that influence intentions as well as moderate the impact of intentions on behavior. The framework was applied to the analysis of adolescent sexual risk behavior in a population of 668 middle school youths in inner-city New York. Adolescents completed self-administered questionnaires in small group settings, assessing their past sexual activity, intentions to engage in sexual intercourse, expectancies about the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in sexual intercourse, normative pressures to engage in sex, the image implications of engaging in sex, emotional and affective reactions to engaging in sex, and self-efficacy with respect to engaging in sexual intercourse. The framework yielded high levels of predictability of intentions to have sex, with variables from each category proving to be of predictive value. The findings have important implications for social work researchers interested in the prevention of adolescent problem behavior.


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