Young Adults' Relationship Histories and Current Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Yasamin Kusunoki, University of Michigan
Dawn Upchurch, University of California, Los Angeles

Using biomarker data and retrospective relationship histories available in the third wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this paper will explore patterns of sexual relationships formed during the early life course and the ways in which these early relationship experiences may place individuals at risk of acquiring STIs. Although there is a growing body of literature demonstrating the importance of romantic and sexual relationships, research is still limited in terms of understanding the role of individuals' cumulative relationship experiences. We will first provide a detailed description of young adults' relationship histories. We will then investigate the additive and interactive effects of young adults' relationship histories on current STI status, with a particular focus on the extent to which the variation in individuals' relationship histories may partially explain gender and racial/ethnic differences in STI risk.

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Presented in Poster Session 6