Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits

Cheryl R. Merzel, Nancy L. Vandevanter, Susan Middlestadt, Amy Bleakley, Rebecca Ledsky, Peter A. Messeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose To examine attitudinal and contextual factors associated with the occurrence of sexual health assessments during adolescent primary care visits. Methods A total of 313 primarily African-American youth aged 11-21 years from 16 community-based organizations in suburban Maryland and in New York City completed questionnaires focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and health care. The analysis examined the relationship of sexual activity, attitudes, and presence of the parent at the health care visit with discussion of three sexual health topics and testing for STD at the most recent health care visit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Results Overall, 74% of respondents reported that they had talked about at least one sexual health topic at their last health care visit but only 32% had discussed all three topics of sexual behavior, birth control, and STD. Females were more likely than males to discuss birth control although there were no gender differences in the overall likelihood of talking about a sexual health topic. Few adolescents initiated discussion of sexual issues. Positive attitudes toward discussing sexual issues with a provider and absence of a parent at the visit were independently associated with higher odds of discussing at least one sexuality topic and STD testing. Conclusions Although relatively large numbers of adolescents in the sample received sexual health assessments, the proportion was below recommended guidelines. The opportunity to speak privately with a clinician and having positive attitudes about discussing sex with a doctor appear to be important influences on the receipt of sexual health assessments. Improving the quality of adolescent preventive care will require creating a health care environment that facilitates discussion of sexual health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

Fingerprint

Reproductive Health
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Delivery of Health Care
Contraception
Sexual Behavior
Preventive Medicine
Behavior Control
Sexuality
Chi-Square Distribution
Adolescent Health
African Americans
Primary Health Care
Logistic Models
Organizations
Guidelines

Keywords

  • Adolescent attitudes
  • Adolescents
  • Gender differences
  • Privacy
  • Sexual health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits. / Merzel, Cheryl R.; Vandevanter, Nancy L.; Middlestadt, Susan; Bleakley, Amy; Ledsky, Rebecca; Messeri, Peter A.

In: Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 35, No. 2, 08.2004, p. 108-115.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Merzel, Cheryl R. ; Vandevanter, Nancy L. ; Middlestadt, Susan ; Bleakley, Amy ; Ledsky, Rebecca ; Messeri, Peter A. / Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits. In: Journal of Adolescent Health. 2004 ; Vol. 35, No. 2. pp. 108-115.
@article{bff0f1aab6924c3fa2fc7f628abe90c4,
title = "Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits",
abstract = "Purpose To examine attitudinal and contextual factors associated with the occurrence of sexual health assessments during adolescent primary care visits. Methods A total of 313 primarily African-American youth aged 11-21 years from 16 community-based organizations in suburban Maryland and in New York City completed questionnaires focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and health care. The analysis examined the relationship of sexual activity, attitudes, and presence of the parent at the health care visit with discussion of three sexual health topics and testing for STD at the most recent health care visit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Results Overall, 74{\%} of respondents reported that they had talked about at least one sexual health topic at their last health care visit but only 32{\%} had discussed all three topics of sexual behavior, birth control, and STD. Females were more likely than males to discuss birth control although there were no gender differences in the overall likelihood of talking about a sexual health topic. Few adolescents initiated discussion of sexual issues. Positive attitudes toward discussing sexual issues with a provider and absence of a parent at the visit were independently associated with higher odds of discussing at least one sexuality topic and STD testing. Conclusions Although relatively large numbers of adolescents in the sample received sexual health assessments, the proportion was below recommended guidelines. The opportunity to speak privately with a clinician and having positive attitudes about discussing sex with a doctor appear to be important influences on the receipt of sexual health assessments. Improving the quality of adolescent preventive care will require creating a health care environment that facilitates discussion of sexual health issues.",
keywords = "Adolescent attitudes, Adolescents, Gender differences, Privacy, Sexual health care",
author = "Merzel, {Cheryl R.} and Vandevanter, {Nancy L.} and Susan Middlestadt and Amy Bleakley and Rebecca Ledsky and Messeri, {Peter A.}",
year = "2004",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.09.011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "108--115",
journal = "Journal of Adolescent Health",
issn = "1054-139X",
publisher = "Elsevier USA",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits

AU - Merzel, Cheryl R.

AU - Vandevanter, Nancy L.

AU - Middlestadt, Susan

AU - Bleakley, Amy

AU - Ledsky, Rebecca

AU - Messeri, Peter A.

PY - 2004/8

Y1 - 2004/8

N2 - Purpose To examine attitudinal and contextual factors associated with the occurrence of sexual health assessments during adolescent primary care visits. Methods A total of 313 primarily African-American youth aged 11-21 years from 16 community-based organizations in suburban Maryland and in New York City completed questionnaires focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and health care. The analysis examined the relationship of sexual activity, attitudes, and presence of the parent at the health care visit with discussion of three sexual health topics and testing for STD at the most recent health care visit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Results Overall, 74% of respondents reported that they had talked about at least one sexual health topic at their last health care visit but only 32% had discussed all three topics of sexual behavior, birth control, and STD. Females were more likely than males to discuss birth control although there were no gender differences in the overall likelihood of talking about a sexual health topic. Few adolescents initiated discussion of sexual issues. Positive attitudes toward discussing sexual issues with a provider and absence of a parent at the visit were independently associated with higher odds of discussing at least one sexuality topic and STD testing. Conclusions Although relatively large numbers of adolescents in the sample received sexual health assessments, the proportion was below recommended guidelines. The opportunity to speak privately with a clinician and having positive attitudes about discussing sex with a doctor appear to be important influences on the receipt of sexual health assessments. Improving the quality of adolescent preventive care will require creating a health care environment that facilitates discussion of sexual health issues.

AB - Purpose To examine attitudinal and contextual factors associated with the occurrence of sexual health assessments during adolescent primary care visits. Methods A total of 313 primarily African-American youth aged 11-21 years from 16 community-based organizations in suburban Maryland and in New York City completed questionnaires focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and health care. The analysis examined the relationship of sexual activity, attitudes, and presence of the parent at the health care visit with discussion of three sexual health topics and testing for STD at the most recent health care visit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Results Overall, 74% of respondents reported that they had talked about at least one sexual health topic at their last health care visit but only 32% had discussed all three topics of sexual behavior, birth control, and STD. Females were more likely than males to discuss birth control although there were no gender differences in the overall likelihood of talking about a sexual health topic. Few adolescents initiated discussion of sexual issues. Positive attitudes toward discussing sexual issues with a provider and absence of a parent at the visit were independently associated with higher odds of discussing at least one sexuality topic and STD testing. Conclusions Although relatively large numbers of adolescents in the sample received sexual health assessments, the proportion was below recommended guidelines. The opportunity to speak privately with a clinician and having positive attitudes about discussing sex with a doctor appear to be important influences on the receipt of sexual health assessments. Improving the quality of adolescent preventive care will require creating a health care environment that facilitates discussion of sexual health issues.

KW - Adolescent attitudes

KW - Adolescents

KW - Gender differences

KW - Privacy

KW - Sexual health care

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=3142715932&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=3142715932&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.09.011

DO - 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2003.09.011

M3 - Article

C2 - 15261639

AN - SCOPUS:3142715932

VL - 35

SP - 108

EP - 115

JO - Journal of Adolescent Health

JF - Journal of Adolescent Health

SN - 1054-139X

IS - 2

ER -