Neighborhood Mortality and Age at First Intercourse among Chicago Adolescents

Jeffrey B. Bingenheimer, Pennsylvania State University

This paper describes my efforts to test the hypothesis that adolescents initiate sexual intercourse at younger ages when they live in areas characterized by high young adult mortality rates. Using data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods and other sources, I seek to isolate the effects of neighborhood mortality from the confounding influences of a wide range of individual-, family-, and neighborhood-level variables using a series of multilevel hazard models and stratification on a neighborhood-level generalized propensity score. I find that mortality among young adults in adolescents’ neighborhoods has large gross impacts on age at first intercourse for both females and males, but adjustment for individual-, family-, and neighborhood-level variables substantially reduces those effects, often to the statistical null.

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Presented in Session 181: Causes and Consequences of Adolescent Behavior