This study examined the association between psychosocial development and the timing of first sexual intercourse in a sample of White, rural adolescents. Two theoretical models were tested. The first model, derived from problem behavior theory, proposed that earlier timing of first sexual intercourse is associated with longitudinal patterns of transition proneness and poor psychosocial adjustment. The second model, the stage termination model, proposed that early first sexual intercourse interferes with subsequent development, thereby resulting in negative developmental outcomes. Problem behavior theory was supported. For both boys and girls, earlier timing of first sexual intercourse was associated with longitudinal patterns of greater transition proneness and poorer psychosocial adjustment. The stage termination model was not supported. No evidence was found suggesting that early timing of first sexual intercourse results in negative psychosocial outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies