Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Department

College of Nursing

Abstract

Adolescents’ perceptions of reasons for abstinence, safer sex, and unsafe sex were investigated. The study used a descriptive design, with a questionnaire administered to 82 Midwestern ninth grade students enrolled in a school health class. From a written scenario describing a couple who are sexually attracted to each other, students were asked to identify reasons the couple might choose to abstain from, or use or not use a condom if they chose to have, sexual intercourse. This study supported earlier research by Keller et al. (1996) which identified four factors perceived by adolescents as contributing to sexual behavior; social norms, fear, gratification or pleasure, and condom availability. In addition, five other factors which affected adolescent sexual behaviors were identified: readiness, relationship issues, emotional maturity, moral issues, and desire for pregnancy. The results were analyzed for differences between demographic characteristics and choice of outcomes, but none were identified.

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