Publication year: 2012
Source: Asian Journal of Psychiatry, Available online 21 February 2012
AtsuroTsutsumi, TakashiIzutsu, ToshihikoMatsumoto
Although it seems evident that attention should be paid to risky sexual behaviors and their association with mental health among young people, this topic has not been thoroughly investigated. The present study aims to explore the relationship between sexual risk behaviors and mental health among adolescents. The participants were 251 adolescents in a juvenile detention facility (221 males and 31 females) as the “delinquent” group and 367 high school students (167 males and 200 females) as the “non-delinquent” group. A questionnaire including the Kessler 10, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and the Adolescent Dissociative Experience Scale was employed to measure mental health status as well as sexual risk behaviors, suicidal ideation/attempts, and abuse history.Having a history of sexual abuse or of physical abuse was associated with age when one first had sex among males with delinquent behaviors, while same tendency was observed among males without delinquent behaviors. Among the female with delinquent behaviors group, past abuse history was significantly associated with higher number of sex partners. In the non-delinquent group, better mental health among males and, contrarily, worse mental health among females were associated with having more sex partners. The results highlight the importance of addressing abuse history among females and males. Given that poor mental health status in the adolescents was associated with risky sexual behaviors, adolescents are a vulnerable group that requires attention in terms of sexual and reproductive health that integrates mental health and psychosocial components.