This article reviews 35 studies on the sexual attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors among South Korean early adolescents (ages 10–15). A review of peer-reviewed articles between 1990 and 2015 using South Korean and Western databases was conducted. Bibliographic and manual searches from peer-reviewed journals were also conducted. Applying Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework, this review illuminates factors of the macro-, exo-, micro-, and individual-level systems that influence sexual attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors of South Korean early adolescents. Findings indicated that religious affiliation and beliefs and media influences (macrosystem); parents’ employment (exosystem); family-level and school environment factors (microsystem); and prior sexual experiences, school misbehavior, alcohol/tobacco/drug use, age/grade level, and biological sex (individual-level factors) were associated with early adolescents’ sexual attitudes, knowledge, and behavior. A preponderance of intervention effort has focused on individual-level factors to achieve behavioral change. However, it is necessary to understand how ecological systems may influence STI-related risk behaviors in order to design and implement more effective prevention and intervention strategies for this population.
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Early adolescence
- South Korea
- sexual knowledge and attitudes
- sexual risk behaviors
- sexually transmitted infections