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Untangling the association between substance use and sexual risk­taking among adolescents and young adults, a selective review of the literature

Courtney Keeler.


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Abstract
Among adolescents and young adults, the mechanism relating substance use and risky sexual behavior remains ambiguous. Conducting a selective review of related literature, this article examines the association between substance use and sexual risk-taking. In particular, this article explores potential mechanisms through which substance may impact risky sexual behaviors. Given the inconsistency in the literature, important, often omitted factors such as mental health and social networks may play a crucial role in mediating this relationship. The article concludes by discussing the practice and policy implications of these considerations.

Key words: Adolescent Health, Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Sex Behavior, Mental Health, Social Influence, Health Policy



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