Association between sexual behavior and depression in south korean adolescents: A cross-sectional study

Hyunkyu Kim, Wonjeong Jeong, Sungin Jang, Youseok Kim, Euncheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adolescent depression and suicide have become leading public health and socioeconomic problems. Determining the connection between adolescent behavior and depression can inform strategies to reduce the prevalence of depression and suicide. We investigated the association between sexual behavior and depression in South Korean adolescents. Data for this cross-sectional study were obtained from the 2017–2019 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey. Data of 178,664 subjects were analyzed using chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression. After adjusting for covariates, the prevalence of depression was found to be higher in subjects with experience of sexual intercourse (adjusted odds ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval = 1.59–1.83 in boys; adjusted odds ratio = 1.47, confidence interval = 1.33–1.61 in girls). On categorizing subjects into two groups based on suicidality, subjects with sexual intercourse experience had higher odds ratios for depression with suicidality (aOR:2.16 in boys, aOR:1.80in girls) than depression without suicidality (aOR:1.49 in boys, aOR:1.25 in girls). We identified the relationship between sexual behavior and the prevalence of depression; adolescents with experience of sexual intercourse were more likely to have depression with suicidality. Further research using prospective designs should serve as the basis for appropriate sex education policies to manage the relationship between sexual behavior and depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4228
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and Korean Youth Health Risk Behavior Survey for approving the use of KYRBS data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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