Risky sex behavior and substance use among young adults

Michele Staton, Carl Leukefeld, T. K. Logan, Rick Zimmerman, Donald Lynam, Richard Milich, Catherine Martin, Karen McClanahan, Richard Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Many young adults, despite widespread prevention and education efforts that target this age group, engage in behaviors that place them at risk of HIV infection. These behaviors include frequent experimentation with alcohol and other drugs before sex, sexual activity with different partners, and inconsistent safe-sex practices. The combination of these risky behaviors causes increased concern about the spread of HIV among this age group. The study discussed in this article examined the relationship between substance use during adolescence and HIV risk behavior among young adults ages 19 to 21 with and without a college education. Results indicated that increased use of alcohol and marijuana at younger ages is related to riskier sexual activity and increased use of alcohol and marijuana as young adults. Recommendations for interventions are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
coordinator and a center study director, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, University of Kentucky, 643 Maxwelton Court, Lexington, KY 40506; e-mail: cmstat00@pop.uky.edu. Carl Leukefeld, DSW, is center director and professor, and TK Logan, PhD, is assistant research professor, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, Rick Zimmerman, PhD, is associate professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Donald Lynam, PhD, is assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Richard Milich, PhD, is professor, Department of Psychology, Catherine Martin, MD, is associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, and Karen McClanahan, MA, is research associate, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, Lexington. Richard Clayton, PhD, is professor, Center for Prevention Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington. This article was supported by Grant No. DA05312-10 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and supported in part by NIH General Clinical Research Center Grant No. M01 RR026202.


  • Educational attainment
  • HIV
  • Prevention
  • Sexual activity
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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