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English-speaking Hispanic youth more likely to have sex early

e onset of intercourse beyond those other predictors."

Overall, Hispanic youth were at greater risk for having experienced sexual intercourse than white youth, when controlling for all other predictors, the researchers found. However, when acculturation was considered, less acculturated Hispanic youth were 40 percent less likely to have experienced first intercourse than white youth, 65 percent less likely than English-speaking Hispanic youth and 55 percent less likely than bilingual Hispanic youth. Highly acculturated Hispanic English-speaking teens were 170 percent more likely to have had intercourse than white youth.

"In terms of program development and evaluation, public health professionals should understand that language differences might be indicative of broader cultural differences, even within ethnic groups," the authors conclude. "Today, there is a lack of culturally sensitive sexuality education materials appropriate to the Spanish-speaking adolescents in the southwestern United States. Additional research on Hispanic Spanish speakers with the aim of program development is critical to promote healthy sexual development in this population."

(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005; 159:261-265. Available post-embargo at www.archpediatrics.com.)

Editor's Note: This study was supported by grants from the Arizona Department of Health Services, LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc., Tucson, to conduct the Arizona Abstinence-Only Education Program and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Editorial: The Healthy Immigrant Effect

In an editorial accompanying this study, Glenn Flores, M.D., and Jane Brotanek, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, state that "This study adds to the already substantial and still growing literature clearly documenting the existence of what has been termed the 'healthy immigrant effect'. less acculturation cons
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Contact: Darci Slaten
520-626-7217
JAMA and Archives Journals
7-Mar-2005


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