Relationships Between Adolescent Stress, Depressive Symptoms, and Sexual Risk Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction: This study examined longitudinal associations between stressful life events and depressive symptoms, assessed during two time points of adolescence, and sexual risk behavior, assessed during young adulthood. Methods: Structural equation modeling was conducted with three waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Results: Analyses revealed bidirectional relationships between stressful life events and depressive symptoms during the two time points of adolescence. Adolescent depressive symptoms indirectly affected young adult sexual risk behavior through adolescent stressful life events. Adolescent stressful life events during late adolescence were directly associated with young adult sexual risk behavior. Discussion: Findings highlight the need to screen for both depression and stressful life events during adolescence, to identify at-risk adolescents and deliver tailored interventions to prevent sexual risk behavior during young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-403
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Depression
  • adolescent
  • sexual risk behavior
  • stressful life events

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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