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Changes in adolescents' risk factors following peer sexual coercion: Evidence for a feedback loop

  • Brennan J. Young (a1), Wyndol Furman (a2) and Meredith C. Jones (a2)

Investigators have identified a number of factors that increase the risk for experiencing sexual coercion, but as yet little is known about how sexual coercion in turn affects these risk factors. Using a sample of 110 adolescents, the current study examined the hypothesis that, after an incident of sexual coercion, adolescents would exhibit increases in several behaviors known to increase risk for victimization. As predicted, after experiencing sexual coercion, adolescents reported increased externalizing symptoms, more frequent sexual intercourse and a greater total number of intercourse partners. Finally, alcohol use, drug use, and problems related to substance use increased. These findings suggest the presence of a feedback loop, in which the experience of sexual coercion leads to an intensification of the factors that initially contributed risk for coercion.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Wyndol Furman, Department of Psychology, 2155 South Race Street, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208; E-mail:
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