Research has provided support for the dual systems model of adolescent risk taking, but the model has rarely been applied to sexual behavior. Using data from the NICHD SECCYD (N = 958; Mage = 15.07, SD = 0.18), this study examined the effects of cognitive control, reward seeking, and their interaction on sexual behavior. Results of structural equation models revealed that performance on behavioral tasks assessing reward seeking and cognitive control uniquely predicted sexual intercourse, but the interaction between them was not significant. For oral sex, only cognitive control was a significant predictor. The findings provide additional support for the dual systems model, and suggest that reward seeking and cognitive control make unique contributions to adolescent sexual behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Behavioral Neuroscience