Area specific self-esteem and sexual behavior among hispanic middle school students

Michael Young, George Denny, Joseph Donnelly, Maria Rodriguez, Mary Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between self-esteem and the sexual behavior and intended sexual behavior of Hispanic middle school students. Students in grades 6–8 (n=1, 077) from a predominately Hispanic school district completed a questionnaire designed to elicit information regarding self-esteem, sexual knowledge, attitudes, intended behavior, and behavior. Results for behavior variables were as follows: (1) “sexual intercourse ever”—those who had never participated in sexual intercourse scored higher on both home and school self-esteem; (2) “sexual intercourse last month”—those who had not participated in sexual intercourse in the last month scored higher on school self-esteem; and (3) “intent to have sexual intercourse”—those who scored higher on home and school self-esteem had lower levels of intent to participate in sexual intercourse, those who scored higher on peer self-esteem had higher levels of intent to intend to participate in sexual intercourse. Our results highlight the important positive role of the home and school in influencing sexual behavior of Hispanic adolescents. The results also seem to indicate that for many Hispanic students, sexual experience may be viewed as a means of being accepted by peers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


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