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The effect of adolescent virginity status on psychological well-being

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  • Sabia, Joseph J.
  • Rees, Daniel I.

Abstract

Although previous research has found that sexually active teens are more likely to suffer from depression, it is not clear whether this association is causal or spurious in nature. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine whether virginity status affects self-esteem and depression. For males, fixed effects and instrumental variables (IV) estimates provide little evidence that sex is causally related to psychological well-being. In contrast, IV estimates indicate that sexually active female adolescents are at increased risk of exhibiting the symptoms of depression relative to their counterparts who are not sexually active. Comparing the psychological well-being of females who used contraception at last intercourse with that of virgins suggests that these effects may be ameliorated, but not eliminated, by contraceptive use.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1368-1381

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:1368-1381

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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References

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rees, Daniel I. & Argys, Laura M. & Averett, Susan L., 2001. "New evidence on the relationship between substance use and adolescent sexual behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 835-845, September.
  3. Freeman, Richard Barry, 1984. "Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Trade Unions," Scholarly Articles 4631951, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 2003. "Teen Drinking and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Two-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 178-209, January.
  5. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sen, Bisakha, 2002. "Does alcohol-use increase the risk of sexual intercourse among adolescents? Evidence from the NLSY97," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1085-1093, November.
  7. Joseph J. Sabia, 2006. "Does early adolescent sex cause depressive symptoms?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 803-825.
  8. Rashad, Inas & Kaestner, Robert, 2004. "Teenage sex, drugs and alcohol use: problems identifying the cause of risky behaviors," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 493-503, May.
  9. Christopher Trenholm & Barbara Devaney & Kenneth Fortson & Melissa Clark & Lisa Quay & Justin Wheeler, 2008. "Impacts of abstinence education on teen sexual activity, risk of pregnancy, and risk of sexually transmitted diseases," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 255-276.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Resul Cesur & Joseph J. Sabia & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "The Psychological Costs of War: Military Combat and Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 16927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Drydakis, Nick, 2013. "The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees, 2012. "Does the number of sex partners affect educational attainment? Evidence from female respondents to the Add Health," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 89-118, January.
  4. D. Mark Anderson & Resul Cesur & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior," NBER Working Papers 18656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Averett, Susan L. & Estelle, Sarah M., 2012. "Is it Necessary to Walk the Talk? The Effects of Maternal Experiences and Communication on the Sexual Behavior of Female Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 6586, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ali, Mir M. & Rizzo, John A. & Amialchuk, Aliaksandr & Heiland, Frank, 2014. "Racial differences in the influence of female adolescents’ body size on dating and sex," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 140-152.
  7. Mir Ali & Olugbenga Ajilore, 2011. "Can Marriage Reduce Risky Health Behavior for African-Americans?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 191-203, June.
  8. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.

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