Ecological factors associated with sexual risk behaviors among detained adolescents: A systematic review

Dexter R. Voisin, Jun Sung Hong, Kelly King

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objectives: Adolescents who have a history of being detained report rates of STI that are 8 to 10 times higher than peers without such histories. Over the last decade, an increasing number of studies have identified multiple factors that are associated with STI risk behaviors and acquisition among detained youth. However to date, no reviews of this literature have been conducted, which is the aim of this paper. Method: We conducted a review of the published literature to identify correlates of risky and STIs among detained youth. PsycINFO, PubMed, MEDLINE and Googlescholar were searched for English-language publications from 1999 to present. These dates represent the time period when the majority of research was conducted among this population. Results: This paper utilizes an ecological model to review risk and protective factors related to STIs among this population. Findings indicated that individual factors (i.e., age, gender, substance use, and mental health); micro factors (i.e., parental monitoring, family violence, and peer influences); meso factors (i.e., school enrollment, student-teacher connectedness, and community violence exposure); and macro factors (i.e., race/ethnicity, cultural norms, gender violence and health care policies) were related to risky sex and STIs. Conclusion: We discuss conceptual and theoretical mechanisms that may account for such relationships and conclude with recommendations for advancing future research and service delivery with this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1983-1991
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Detained youth
  • Ecological factors
  • Risk and protective domains


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