Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Tailored Messages Redirect Sexually Active Girls

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Tailored Messages Redirect Sexually Active Girls

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- Adolescent women at high risk for acquiring sexually transmitted infections may not respond well to counseling and prevention efforts that focus on the fear of becoming infected, according to a study by researchers at Indiana University in Indianapolis.

Instead, programs and physicians may need to tailor their pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling to recent patterns of sexual behavior, said Dr. Mary A. Ott of the university's section of adolescent medicine.

"Physicians should be aware that fear related to being infected influences sexual behavior only in the short term, and therefore should focus on interpersonal and relationship factors to influence long-term decisions about sex and abstinence," Dr. Ott said at the annual meeting of the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research.

This urban study of 378 high-risk women aged 14-18 years indicated that the decision to have sex after a period of abstinence was strongly influenced by the relationship between the woman and the man she was involved with, as well as by sexual interest and mood, Dr. Ott explained, adding that this challenges the popular notion that adolescent sex is largely casual and lacking in personal commitment and caring. …

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