A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship between Educational Investment and Adolescent Sexual Activity

Christine Mc Cauley Ohannessian, Lisa J. Crockett

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The relation between educational investment and sexual behavior was examined longitudinally in a sample of479 rural adolescents. Surveys were administered to the subjects twice-once when they were in the 8th, 9th, and 10th grades, and again 2 years later, when they were in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Results indicated that among girls, educational investment predicted sexual activity, with academic grades in school significantly predicting reportedfrequency of sexual activity 2 years later. In contrast,forboys, sexual involvement predicted later educational investment, particularly involvement in academic activities. These findings suggest different developmental pattems for boys and girls. For girls, academic involvement may limit their sexual activity. However, sexual activity does not seem to reduce educational involvement. In contrast, sexual activity is associated with less involvement in academic activities for boys. The possible reasons for these gender differences are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-182
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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