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Journal Article

Citation

Brendgen M, Wanner B, Vitaro F. Am. J. Public Health 2007; 97(11): 2070-2075.

Affiliation

Department of Psychology, University of Quebec, Montreal, Qu├ębec. Brendgen.Mara@uqam.ca

Copyright

(Copyright © 2007, American Public Health Association)

DOI

10.2105/AJPH.2006.101287

PMID

17901435

PMCID

PMC2040382

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We examined the links between peer rejection and verbal abuse by a teacher during childhood with the early onset of sexual intercourse and the mediating role of delinquent behavior and low self-esteem in this context. METHODS: We assessed 312 students (159 girls) in northwestern Quebec annually from kindergarten through seventh grade. Peer identifications were used to assess peer rejection and verbal abuse by teachers from kindergarten through fourth grade. In seventh grade, self-reports were used to assess delinquent behavior, self-esteem, and having sexual intercourse. Multiple sources were used to assess control variables. RESULTS: Multiple imputation-based linear and logistic regressions showed that peer rejection was indirectly associated with a higher risk of early intercourse by its link with lower self-esteem, but only for girls. Verbal abuse by teachers during childhood was directly associated with a higher risk of early sexual intercourse and indirectly by its link with delinquent behavior. CONCLUSIONS: The results underline the importance of both peers and teachers in healthy sexual development among youths, especially for girls, and emphasize the need for targeted health and sexual education programs.


Language: en

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