Development of Sexual Relationships and Substance Use

Sonya B. Norman, Erin Harrop, Kendall C. Wilkins, Eric R. Pedersen, Ursula S. Myers, Aimee Chabot and Carie Rodgers

in The Oxford Handbook of Adolescent Substance Abuse

ISBN: 9780199735662
Published online March 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780199983049 | DOI:
Development of Sexual Relationships and Substance Use

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Sexual relationship development in adolescence can be affected by substance use. Substance use and risky sexual behavior frequently co-occur, and their co-occurrence is associated with short- and long-term negative consequences. The relationship appears to be bidirectional in nature, with substance use acting as a risk factor for risky sexual behavior and risky sexual behavior acting as a risk factor for substance use. Proposed mechanisms to explain this relationship include personality traits such as impulsivity or sensation-seeking tendencies, expectancies about how substances will affect sexual experiences, and effects of media messages that normalize substance use and sexual behavior for adolescents. Peer influence, family factors, and a constellation of problem behaviors that reinforce one another can also play a role. However, there are no integrative models to explain the relationship between substance use and sexual relationship development.

Keywords: substance use; sexual relationships; adolescence; risky behaviors; sexual relationship development

Article.  19936 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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