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The age of adolescents at first sexual intercourse is an important risk factor for sexually transmitted diseases STDs and adolescent pregnancy.

Black adolescents are at higher risk than white adolescents for first sexual intercourse at younger ages as well as STDs and pregnancy. Individual- and family-level factors do not fully explain this disparity.

We examined whether five dimensions of black-white residential racial segregation can help explain the racial disparity in age at first sexual intercourse. Census data, we performed multiple hierarchical discrete time-to-event analyses on a nationally representative cohort of adolescents followed since Although the cohort study is ongoing, we used data from through Concentration and unevenness significantly modified the association of race and age at first sexual intercourse.

However, stratified results suggested differences in the effect of race on age at first sexual intercourse at each level of segregation across dimensions of segregation. Residential racial segregation may modify the black-white disparity in risk of first sexual intercourse at younger ages, but these associations are complex.

Future studies should be conducted to elucidate the causal mechanisms. In the United States, the age of adolescents at first sexual intercourse has been shown to be a risk factor for other sexual risk behaviors, even long term, 1 — 3 as well as for sexually transmitted disease STD acquisition and adolescent pregnancy.

Black adolescents are more likely than white adolescents to report first sexual intercourse at younger ages. The social environment likely influences individual sexual risk by shaping risk behaviors and social and sexual network patterns. Residential racial segregation hereafter, segregation —i.

Concentration of the black population, or the density of black people in each neighborhood, further concentrates social, economic, and political disadvantage. Centralization of the black population, or the extent to which black neighborhoods are located around the center of the MA, limits this group to urban centers, which in the U.

Clustering of the black population, or the degree to which black neighborhoods are contiguous within the MA, may exacerbate the concentration of social problems. Finally, unevenness of the black population, or the extent to which the proportion of black people in each neighborhood differs from the proportion of black people in the MA as a whole, can result in further social isolation.

Segregation is posited to be a fundamental cause of racial disparities in sexual risk. First, using national surveillance data, our research group found that certain dimensions of segregation were associated with gonorrhea rates among black people in the U. Briefly, NLSY97 is a longitudinal survey of 8, young people who were 12—16 years of age on December 31, Participants were interviewed on a yearly basis with baseline interviews completed in — Nine rounds of data were used for this analysis — to ensure follow-up of participants through age 20 years i.

We further limited the sample to those living in U. Research suggests that only a very small number of individuals have their first, non-coerced, sexual intercourse before age 12 years. The final sample comprised 4, individuals in MAs, with a mean of Our sample had data on age at first sexual intercourse for 3, individuals. Person-level covariates were assessed at baseline and included individual, family, and geographic attributes hypothesized to be important predictors of adolescent first sexual intercourse.

Based on participants' addresses, we determined whether they lived in a Census-defined urban area and in what part of the MA they resided. Census region of residence was also determined. We included in all analyses variables indicating whether the participant was part of the NLSY97 oversample of black and Hispanic participants and whether age at first sex was retrospectively reported at baseline.

Data on all MA-level measures were obtained from the U. Census Bureau. Segregation is operationalized by assessing the distribution of black residents across neighborhoods e. Five dimensions of Sexual intercourse black and white, concentration, centralization, clustering, and unevenness—represent distinct components of segregation. These dimensions have been described in a previous section of this article, and the indices are described in detail elsewhere.

Concentration and centralization Sexual intercourse black and white measured using the relative concentration index range: —1. Clustering Sexual intercourse black and white measured using the spatial proximity index.

While this index can be any real value, in practice it ranges from 1. We subtracted 1. Finally, unevenness was measured by the dissimilarity index range: 0. Values for segregation indices were obtained from the U. Census data and MA definitions to calculate these indices.

MA-level sociodemographic measures were obtained from the U. Census Bureau's Census Summary 1 and 3 files. Population size logpopulation density people per square mileand racial composition proportion black were included. Census demarcations of metropolitan statistical areas. MA-level data and person-level survey data were then linked based on these MAs. Several person-level covariates had missing data: gross household income Go to sleep zapper dick performed multiple imputations using an iterative Markov Chain Monte Carlo procedure, which incorporates uncertainty due to missing data in calculating parameter estimates and standard errors.

Age at first sexual intercourse was collected as an integer value with nine possible responses ages 12—20 years. Therefore, discrete time-to-event analysis with a logit function was performed.

We created two-level hierarchical models to account for dependence of individuals within MAs. First, we created an unconditional random intercept model with the age Sexual intercourse black and white variables to account for the heterogeneity in ages of adolescents at first sexual intercourse across MAs. Because we were examining racial disparities, we added race and specified a random intercept and slope for race model with an unstructured covariance.

As the test of the primary Sexual intercourse black and white question, to examine whether the black-white disparity in age at adolescent first sexual intercourse varied in areas with different levels of segregation, we included race-by-segregation interaction Sexual intercourse black and white. F-tests were used to test statistical significance for all models.

We performed estimation with maximum likelihood using adaptive Gaussian quadrature. Baseline characteristics are described in Table 1. Briefly, compared with white respondents, black respondents were more socioeconomically disadvantaged and more likely to live in a single-parent household at baseline. Of the MAs included in this analysis, NLSY and metropolitan area sample characteristics in a study on residential racial segregation and the black-white disparity among adolescents in age at first sexual intercourse a.

Census data. Note: Sampling weights were not used, so these data should not be interpreted as representing national characteristics.

Among black participants, Among those who had their first sexual intercourse in adolescence, the mean age of first sexual intercourse for black participants was After allowing the association between race and age at first sexual intercourse to vary randomly across MAs and adjusting for control variables, black participants were 1. After additionally adjusting for individual covariates, this racial disparity remained. However, the disparity still remained. Inclusion of MA-level covariates did not further reduce the racial disparity in the odds of having first sexual intercourse in adolescence Table 2.

Estimated log-hazard odds of adolescent first sexual intercourse, overall and by race, in a study on residential racial segregation and the black-white disparity among adolescents in age at first sexual intercourse a.

Hazard odds of adolescent first sexual intercourse in multiple hierarchical discrete time-to-event models: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth — While race-segregation interaction terms were not significant for isolation, centralization, and clustering, stratified results suggested potential differences in the association between race and adolescent first sexual intercourse at each level of segregation across these dimensions of segregation Table 3.

Hazard odds of adolescent first sexual intercourse of black compared with white adolescents, by segregation, in multiple hierarchical discrete time-to-event models: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth — a. As hypothesized, across all dimensions in highly segregated MAs, black participants were 1.

For concentration, centralization, and clustering, this racial disparity was not seen in areas characterized by low or very low segregation. Similarly, in hypersegregated areas, black participants were at increased odds of adolescent first sexual intercourse compared with white participants, Sexual intercourse black and white no racial disparity was seen in non-hypersegregated areas.

In contrast, however, according to the isolation and unevenness dimensions, black participants were 1. Age at first sexual intercourse in adolescence is an important predictor of STD infection and adolescent pregnancy, 24 and black-white disparities exist in each of these health outcomes.

Our study indicates that residential racial segregation may help to explain this disparity. However, these associations are complex. According to the concentration, centralization, and clustering indices, in areas with the highest levels of segregation, black participants had increased odds compared with white participants of having first sexual intercourse in adolescence, whereas in areas with the lowest levels of segregation, this racial disparity did not exist.

High concentration of black people may be associated with increased Sexual intercourse black and white of adolescent first sexual intercourse because racial concentration further concentrates inherited economic, political, and social disadvantage.

A poor neighborhood environment is believed to increase social disorder and foster crime, drug use, and risky sexual behaviors. According to the isolation and unevenness measures, the racial disparity existed in areas with the lowest and highest levels of segregation, yet the racial disparity did not exist in areas with moderate levels of segregation.

Bell et al. If an area is highly uneven, the black population is not distributed evenly across neighborhoods in an MA and is living in separate neighborhoods and in neighborhoods with a high percentage of black people, resulting in black people being isolated from white people. In areas Sexual intercourse black and white by low values of isolation and unevenness indices, segregation may appear low; however, if the black population is relatively small in these MAs, true integration may not exist.

Studies have found that experiencing racial discrimination is associated with increased risk behaviors in adolescents. Sexual intercourse black and white hypersegregated areas, black participants were at increased odds of adolescent first sexual intercourse compared with white people. This racial disparity did not exist in non-hypersegregated areas. Sexual intercourse black and white, the disadvantageous effects of high Sexual intercourse black and white are multiplied in areas characterized by high segregation across multiple dimensions.

These findings should be interpreted in light of the study limitations. The person-level data were self-reported and may be subject to misclassification error. Computer-assisted personal interviews were used to collect data on sex to reduce bias. Some individual-level variables had substantial missing values, and multiple imputations Sexual intercourse black and white not have reduced bias. Because survey questions related to sexual intercourse referred to sex with a person of the opposite sex, sexual intercourse with a same-sex partner was impossible to determine.

Using baseline place of residence to determine segregation status may have introduced misclassification if it was not the place where respondents lived at the most relevant time frame for first sexual intercourse.

Using the baseline place of residence is supported in neighborhood effects research.


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