Confidence as a Predictor of Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes for Youth

Summary:

This article assesses the association between four positive youth development (PYD) constructs of confidence and adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) outcomes. The four constructs are:  belief in the future, self-determination, clear and positive identity, and self-efficacy. According to this study, both belief in the future and self-determination were shown as protective factors for ASRH, while clear and positive identity was shown as a risk factor for ASRA. Self-efficacy has mixed/inconclusive findings.

  •  “Adolescence is a critical developmental stage when young people establish patterns of behavior and make lifestyle choices that affect their current and future health. Many people believe that young people who have high levels of confidence  are more likely to engage in adaptive behaviors related to health and other aspects of their lives than those having low levels of confidence.” (Gloppen et al., 2009, p. S44)
  •  “The review by Gavin et al. included in this issue further suggests that PYD programs targeting the confidence constructs of belief in the future  and self-determination  can have a positive, and often long-lasting, effect on ASRH.” (Gloppen et al., 2009, p. S52)
  •  “Although this review’s examination of nonintervention behavioral research did not indicate substantial evidence that clear and positive identity is a protective factor for ASRH outcomes, the PYD program review findings of Gavin et al.  suggest that helping young people develop a clear and positive identity  may be one of the elements that support healthy sexual and reproductive health decisions.” (Gloppen et al., 2009, p. S53)
  •  “Findings imply that the type of outcome investigated is important to understanding the risk and protective findings. Sexual self-efficacy  may increase sexual initiation, but it also seems to increase protected sex. Future longitudinal research using measures of specific types of sexual self-efficacy  can help clarify these mixed findings.” (Gloppen et al., 2009, p. S54)

Citation: Gloppen, K. M., David-Ferdon, C., Bates, J. (2009). Confidence as a Predictor of Sexual and Reproductive Health for Youth. Journal for Adolescent Health. Vol. 46. p. S42-S58

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