Enhancing Refusal Skills: Identifying Contexts That Place Adolescents at Risk for Unwanted Sexual Activity

William J. Warzak, Crystal R. Grow, Mary M. Poler, John N. Walburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Refusal skills training is one approach to reducing school-age pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The generalization of these skills is dependent, in part, on the relevance to participants of the training scenarios. We identified and cross-validated relevant contexts for inclusion in scenarios for refusal skills training. Fifty-six sexually active female adolescents identified 59 contexts associated with unwanted sexual activity. Fifty-one additional subjects rated these on 9-point Likert scales according to how common and difficult each was for them. Unsupervised activity where alcohol is present or feeling an obligation to engage in sexual activity emerged as high risk contexts. The most common and difficult contexts provide points of departure for the development of relevant training scenarios for refusal skills training, thereby contributing to generalization of these skills and reducing the risk of unwanted sexual activity within this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-100
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • adolescents
  • assertiveness training
  • refusal skills
  • sexual behavior
  • unwanted sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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