A Latent Class Analysis of Online Sexual Experiences and Offline Sexual Behaviors Among Female Adolescents

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Abstract

This study used latent class analysis to identify patterns (i.e., classes) across a broad range of online sexual experiences among female adolescents (n = 312) and to explore offline sexual behavior and substance use correlates of as well as maltreatment differences in class membership. The following four classes were identified: Online Abstinent, Online Inclusive, Attractors, and Seekers. Maltreated female adolescents were more likely to be members of the Online Inclusive class and less likely to be members of the Online Abstinent class than nonmaltreated female adolescents. Offline sexual behaviors and substance use differentially predicted class membership. These results suggest online sexual experiences vary greatly and should not be aggregated together as a global risk factor for all female adolescents.

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