We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Communication Between Adolescents and Physicians About Sexual Behavior and Risk Prevention

Mark A. Schuster; Robert M. Bell, PhD; Laura P. Petersen, MS; David E. Kanouse, PhD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(9):906-913. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170340020004.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Objectives:  To assess the extent to which adolescents in a nonclinical community-based population have talked with a physician about sexual behavior and risk prevention and to examine whether adolescents value these discussions and trust physicians to protect their confidentiality.

Design:  Self-administered anonymous survey.

Setting:  Urban California school district.

Participants:  A total of 2026 students in 9th to 12th grade, 98% of the eligible students present on the survey day.

Outcome Measures:  Discussions with physicians about sexual matters, helpfulness of discussions, trust in physicians to protect confidentiality, and knowledge about confidentiality laws.

Results:  Thirty-nine percent of adolescents reported discussions with physicians about how to avoid getting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome from sex, 37% about using condoms for vaginal intercourse, 13% about how to use condoms, 15% about the adolescent's sex life, 13% about how to say no to unwanted sex, and 8% about sexual orientation. In addition, 8% of adolescents had been given a condom by a physician. Adolescents were more likely to report most of these topics if they had ever had vaginal intercourse or if they had a regular physician. Most adolescents (80%-90%) would find it at least a little helpful to talk with a physician about various sexual matters. Most would trust a physician to keep secret that they asked questions about sex (75%), that they were having sex (65%), or that they were using contraception (68%). Fewer would trust physicians to keep secret a sexually transmitted disease (44%) or pregnancy (44%). For adolescents who knew that physicians in their state do not have to tell parents about sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy, levels of trust rose, but only to 54%.

Conclusions:  Although professional medical organizations recommend that physicians discuss sexual matters and risk prevention with their adolescent patients, most adolescents report not having received these services. Physicians should be more aggressive about discussing these topics.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:906-913


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.