Sex, friends and impulses: The effects of peer norms and impulsivity on sexual risk behaviors
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Sexual Risk Behaviors (SRB) among adolescents can have far-reaching negative outcomes. Research have shown that two types of peer norms (descriptive and injunctive peer norms) and impulsivity both have a strong association with SRB. This study primly examines: 1) The association between (descriptive and injunctive) peer norms and SRB; 2) The association between impulsivity and SRB; 3) Whether the association between descriptive and injunctive peer norms and SRB is moderated by impulsivity and age. Data from 2 waves from a longitudinal study of 1044 Dutch adolescents in secondary school (Mage=14.2), were used. Multiple regression analysis revealed that 1) high descriptive norms predicted low SRB; 2) Impulsivity did not predict SRB; 3) Impulsivity and age moderated the association between peer norms (descriptive and injunctive) and SRB. The results indicated that new interventions focused on reducing SRB should consider the effects of descriptive and injunctive peer norms and impulsivity on SRB.