Data from male participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health are used to examine childhood predictors of late adolescent and early adulthood sexually coercive behavior and adolescent mediators of these relationships. A path analysis shows that experiencing sexual abuse as a child has a direct effect on perpetrating subsequent coercion that is partially mediated by early sexual initiation. Involvement in delinquent activities in adolescence was the only additional significant predictor of sexually coercive behavior and completely mediated the relationship between physical abuse in childhood and later sexual coercion. Of note, more than half of men reporting sexually aggressive acts had no history of childhood victimization, so pathways to sexually coercive behavior for this group remain unidentified. In addition to the universal prevention approaches currently in use in the field, these findings suggest that targeted prevention programs need to be formulated for youth with histories of childhood sexual or physical abuse.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/erin-casey/21/