How Florida youths measure up to US youths in sexual and reproductive health: implications for youths across the United States

  • Maness S
  • Mahony H
  • Buhi E
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The United States surpasses other developed nations in teen birthrates and sexually transmitted infections, and Florida youths are disproportionately affected. Projections have placed Florida to have the second largest population of youths in the nation by 2025. The racial and ethnic diversity as well as a growing number of youths in Florida make sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes in this state reflective of the increasing diversity of youths throughout the United States. The purpose of this research was to compare a representative sample of Florida youths and US high school youths sexual behaviors, overall and by gender and race/ethnicity, to identify disparities. Employing 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, outcomes of interest were ever having had sexual intercourse; intercourse before age 13 years (early sex); condom use; oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use; and use of Depo-Provera®, Nuva Ring®, Implanon®, or any intrauterine device (IUD) at last sex. The analysis calculated relative risk and corresponding 95% confidence interval between Florida (N = 6,212) and US youths (N = 15,425) using SAS version 9.3 (SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC, USA). There were statistically significant differences in four of five behaviors, all of which were worse for Florida youths compared with US youths (except for condom use). Florida youths were more likely to report early sex and less likely to have used OCPs. Florida youths were less likely to have used Depo-Provera®, Nuva Ring®, Implanon, or any IUD, including differences by grade level and among male, female, Hispanic, and white youths. This study can inform policy and the need to develop strategies for intervention or service provision among Florida youths so resources can be allotted to priority populations. In addition this study, highlights areas of SRH that may be faced by a growing and diverse population of youths in the United States. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • child and adolescent health
  • human sexuality
  • public health
  • reproductive health
  • risk behaviors

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  • Sarah Maness

  • Helen Mahony

  • Eric R. Buhi

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