Physical Abuse and Adolescent Sexual Behaviors: Moderating Effects of Mental Health Disorders and Substance Use
Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma
The purpose of the current study was to examine the direct effects of child physical abuse on sexual behaviors and whether mental health problems and substance use moderated the associations between exposure to child physical abuse and sexual behavioral practices among adolescents who participated in the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). The data show statistically significant relationships between physical abuse and risky sexual behaviors for youth who met the clinical criteria for lifetime Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and reported marijuana use. Data from future studies can inform sexual health practice development with adolescents and emerging adults with a history of physical abuse, marijuana use/abuse and PTSD. These findings underscore the importance of exploring presence of symptoms associated with PTSD and marijuana use as part of a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment for physically abused adolescents and emerging adults to determine if they are engaging in risky sexual behaviors.
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Miller, K. M., Briggs, H. E., Elkins, J., Kim, I., & Mowbray, O. (2020). Physical abuse and adolescent sexual behaviors: moderating effects of mental health disorders and substance use. Journal of child & adolescent trauma, 13(1), 55-62.