Light and heavy heterosexual activities of young Canadian adolescents: Normative patterns and differential predictors
Cribbie, Robert A.
MetadataShow full item record
The objectives of this research were to explore patterns of heterosexual activity in early adolescence and to examine the differential pathways to light and heavy heterosexuality. We utilized the National Longitudinal Survey of Canadian Children and Youth (NLSCY) in which heterosexual behaviors, as well as puberty, parenting processes, peer self‐concept, and problem behaviors were examined. The heterosexual activities of the majority of 12‐ and 13‐year‐old adolescents were largely confined to light activities of hugging, holding hands, and kissing. Heavy activities such as petting and sexual intercourse were reported less often. Using predictor variables from Cycle 1 of the NLSCY when participants were 10‐ and 11‐year‐olds, SEM analyses indicated that puberty and higher peer self‐concept shared significant direct pathways to both light and heavy heterosexuality. Heavy sexual activity, however, was uniquely associated with the risk factors of adolescent problem behaviors. Positive and hostile parenting styles were indirectly associated with light sexual activity through peer self‐concept. Positive and hostile parenting styles were also indirectly associated with heavy sexual activity through both peer‐oriented self‐concept and problem behaviors. Results support differential patterns and predictors of light and heavy sexuality in early adolescence.