The impact of self-components on attitudes toward sex among African American preadolescent girls: The moderating role of menarche

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20 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to identify the protective factors that help to prevent attitudes that are tolerant of risky sexual behavior among inner-city, African American, preadolescent girls. It was hypothesized that aspects of the self would significantly predict attitudes toward sexual behavior among this population. It was also expected that the predictive power of the self-components (i.e., ethnic identity, self-concept, and masculine and feminine gender role orientation) would be increased in African American girls following menarche. Two hundred and five African American, preadolescent girls from a northeastern, inner-city community participated in this study. The age for this sample ranged from 10 to 13. Findings of this study lend partial support to the hypotheses. Examination of the predictive relationship between the self-components and attitudes toward sex indicated that self-concept and the masculine and feminine gender role characteristics were significant predictors of attitudes toward sex. In addition, the impact of ethnic identity on functioning was found to be most significant for girls who had experienced menarche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalSex Roles
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • African American girls
  • attitudes toward sex
  • ethnic identity
  • gender roles
  • menarche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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