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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Sexual relationship development in adolescence can be affected by substance use. Substance use and risky sexual behavior frequently co-occur, and their co-occurrence is associated with short- and long-term negative consequences. The relationship appears to be bidirectional in nature, with substance use acting as a risk factor for risky sexual behavior and risky sexual behavior acting as a risk factor for substance use. Proposed mechanisms to explain this relationship include personality traits such as impulsivity or sensation-seeking tendencies, expectancies about how substances will affect sexual experiences, and effects of media messages that normalize substance use and sexual behavior for adolescents. Peer influence, family factors, and a constellation of problem behaviors that reinforce one another can also play a role. However, there are no integrative models to explain the relationship between substance use and sexual relationship development.

Keywords: substance use, sexual relationships, adolescence, risky behaviors, sexual relationship development

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