Religion and Sexual Risk Taking in Youth. Grant

Religion and Sexual Risk Taking in Youth. .


  • Despite the central role that religion plays in the lives of the American public, relatively few carefully controlled and theoretically cogent analysis have been undertaken to examine its impact on sexual risk taking in American youth. The present research is an analysis of a secondary data base, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), that examines the impact of religion and religiosity on sexual risk taking of a nationally representative sample of adolescents as they transition to young adulthood. It is a longitudinal analysis of approximately 15,000 adolescents in grades 7 through 12 who were interviewed at three points in time, during adolescence (twice with a one year interval between interviews) and again in young adulthood, some seven years later. The overall goals of the research are (1) to evaluate models of the causal influence of religious beliefs/orientations and religious behavior on sexual risk taking during young adulthood and adolescence, identifying both moderators and mediators of those effects, (2) to evaluate if the effects of religiosity on sexual risk behavior weaken with the onset of first intercourse or if the magnitude of the effects remain constant after first intercourse has occurred, (3) to evaluate models that consider the possibility that the direction of causal influence is opposite to what is commonly presumed, namely that increased sexual activity on the part of an adolescent weakens his or her commitment to religion rather than increased commitments to religion decreasing the likelihood of sexual activity , (4) to test if the social psychological correlates of adolescent sexual behavior are the same for adolescents who attend church/synagogue on a regular basis when compared with those who do not, (5) to explore the influences of religious orientations and practices during adolescence on sexual risk taking seven years later, during early adulthood, (6) to examine the interplay between maternal and adolescent religiosity as determinants of adolescent sexual risk taking and (7) to explore gender, age and ethnic differences in the above.

date/time interval

  • May 19, 2006 - March 31, 2009

administered by

sponsor award ID

  • 5R01HD049443-02

local award ID

  • AWD000000000008


  • Address
  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent
  • African American
  • Age
  • American
  • Behavior
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
  • Chlamydia
  • Church
  • Clinic
  • Coitus
  • Communities
  • Community Health
  • Data
  • Databases
  • Economics
  • Emotional
  • Female A
  • base
  • cost
  • day
  • ethnic difference