Would Caring Teachers Buffer the Link Between Violence Victimization and Early Sexual Initiation? Comparing Heterosexual and Non-Heterosexual African American Youth

Jun Sung Hong, Alberto Valido, Hyeouk Chris Hahm, Cortney R. VanHook, Dorothy L. Espelage, Dexter R. Voisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between youth violence exposures (i.e., peer and neighborhood) and early sexual initiation. It also explored whether caring relationships with teachers might moderate this relationship and whether results differed for heterosexual versus non-heterosexual African American youth. The study sample (N = 580) comprised 475 heterosexual and 105 non-heterosexual youths, 319 female and 261 male, ages 13 to 24 years (M age = 15.8). Students were assessed for peer and neighborhood violence, relationship with teachers, early sexual initiation, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Major results indicated a positive relationship between exposure to peer and neighborhood violence and early sexual initiation for heterosexual youth but not those who identified as non-heterosexual. Further, identifying as female (vs. male) was significantly associated with later sexual initiation for both heterosexual and non-heterosexual youth. In addition, caring teachers moderated the relationship between exposure to peer violence and age of sexual initiation among non-heterosexual youth. Programs and interventions to curtail violence sequelae would need to consider the unique effects of various types of youth violence exposures and the significance of sexual orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2789-2798
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume52
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • African American adolescents
  • Exposure to violence
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sexual risk
  • Teacher-student relationship
  • Youth violence

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