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The emotional experiences of early first intercourse: a multi-method study

Katrien Symons (UGent) , Hans Vermeersch (UGent) and Mieke Van Houtte (UGent)
(2014) JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH. 29(4). p.533-560
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Abstract
The experience of the first intercourse at an early age is a well-established sexual risk behavior as it is related to adverse physical and mental health outcomes. However, the diversity within the group of early starters as well as the actual processes that make early first-time intercourse (potentially) more harmful remain understudied. The goal of this research is to understand the mechanisms which make an early experience of the first intercourse either more or less emotionally harmful. Therefore, a combination of quantitative and qualitative data are used. The quantitative data stem from a population survey (age 14 to 35; N = 705); the qualitative data were gathered by in-depth interviews among 24 young people (age 16 to 18) with an early first-time intercourse (at age 14 or younger). Quantitative analyses show that the age at first-time intercourse is positively related to the feeling of readiness, but for the male respondents only, it is also positively related to the general experience of the first intercourse. For female respondents, the age at the first intercourse is only related to the general experience of it in interaction with the age difference with the first partner. Qualitative analyses show that much variation goes behind these statistical regularities. Successful early starters can be differentiated from problematic early starters based on relationship characteristics, the preceding sexual trajectory and the preceding sexual decision making. Practical implications are described and recommendations for further research are made.
Keywords
GENDER-DIFFERENCES, SEXUAL INTERCOURSE, AGE, HEALTH, ADOLESCENCE, EDUCATION, first intercourse, sexuality, risk behavior, adolescence, sexual health, romantic relationships

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MLA
Symons, Katrien, Hans Vermeersch, and Mieke Van Houtte. “The Emotional Experiences of Early First Intercourse: a Multi-method Study.” JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH 29.4 (2014): 533–560. Print.
APA
Symons, K., Vermeersch, H., & Van Houtte, M. (2014). The emotional experiences of early first intercourse: a multi-method study. JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH, 29(4), 533–560.
Chicago author-date
Symons, Katrien, Hans Vermeersch, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2014. “The Emotional Experiences of Early First Intercourse: a Multi-method Study.” Journal of Adolescent Research 29 (4): 533–560.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Symons, Katrien, Hans Vermeersch, and Mieke Van Houtte. 2014. “The Emotional Experiences of Early First Intercourse: a Multi-method Study.” Journal of Adolescent Research 29 (4): 533–560.
Vancouver
1.
Symons K, Vermeersch H, Van Houtte M. The emotional experiences of early first intercourse: a multi-method study. JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH. 2014;29(4):533–60.
IEEE
[1]
K. Symons, H. Vermeersch, and M. Van Houtte, “The emotional experiences of early first intercourse: a multi-method study,” JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 533–560, 2014.
@article{4404151,
  abstract     = {The experience of the first intercourse at an early age is a well-established sexual risk behavior as it is related to adverse physical and mental health outcomes. However, the diversity within the group of early starters as well as the actual processes that make early first-time intercourse (potentially) more harmful remain understudied. The goal of this research is to understand the mechanisms which make an early experience of the first intercourse either more or less emotionally harmful. Therefore, a combination of quantitative and qualitative data are used. The quantitative data stem from a population survey (age 14 to 35; N = 705); the qualitative data were gathered by in-depth interviews among 24 young people (age 16 to 18) with an early first-time intercourse (at age 14 or younger). Quantitative analyses show that the age at first-time intercourse is positively related to the feeling of readiness, but for the male respondents only, it is also positively related to the general experience of the first intercourse. For female respondents, the age at the first intercourse is only related to the general experience of it in interaction with the age difference with the first partner. Qualitative analyses show that much variation goes behind these statistical regularities. Successful early starters can be differentiated from problematic early starters based on relationship characteristics, the preceding sexual trajectory and the preceding sexual decision making. Practical implications are described and recommendations for further research are made.},
  author       = {Symons, Katrien and Vermeersch, Hans and Van Houtte, Mieke},
  issn         = {0743-5584},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT RESEARCH},
  keywords     = {GENDER-DIFFERENCES,SEXUAL INTERCOURSE,AGE,HEALTH,ADOLESCENCE,EDUCATION,first intercourse,sexuality,risk behavior,adolescence,sexual health,romantic relationships},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {533--560},
  title        = {The emotional experiences of early first intercourse: a multi-method study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0743558414528976},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2014},
}

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