Adolescent sexual abstinence: a test of an integrative theoretical framework. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to test an integrative theoretical framework in explaining adolescents' sexual abstinence and intentions to remain abstinent and refine the framework to reflect which elements contribute more powerfully to the explanation of abstinence and intentions. We administered an anonymous, theory-based questionnaire to two nonrandom samples of seventh- and eighth-graders (n = 451 and 447, respectively). Measurement modeling provided sufficient evidence for establishing construct validity. A refined structural equation model demonstrated good fit. Pro-abstinence standards predicted stronger beliefs toward staying abstinent, stronger perceptions that others endorse pro-abstinence norms, and a greater self-efficacy to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. In turn, beliefs, norms, and self-efficacy were predictive of intentions, which predicted sexual abstinence at a later time point. Similar findings emerged in a replication using a second set of sample data. Results suggest that this integrative theoretical framework is useful in explaining adolescents' intention and their subsequent sexual abstinence.

published proceedings

  • Health Educ Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Buhi, E. R., Goodson, P., Neilands, T. B., & Blunt, H.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Buhi, Eric R||Goodson, Patricia||Neilands, Torsten B||Blunt, Heather

publication date

  • February 2011