Resisting Pressure From Peers to Engage in Sexual Behavior: What Communication Strategies Do Early Adolescent Latino Girls Use?

Anne E Norris, Jonathan Pettigrew, Michelle Miller-Day, Michael L. Hecht, Janet Hutchison, Kristi Campoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


A content analysis of early adolescent X¯ = 12.02 years) Latino girls’ (n = 44) responses to open-ended questions embedded in an electronic survey was conducted to explore strategies girls may use to resist peer pressure with respect to sexual behavior. Analysis yielded 341 codable response units, 74% of which were consistent with the REAL typology (i.e., refuse, explain, avoid, leave) previously identified in adolescent substance use research. However, strategies reflecting a lack of resistance (11%) and inconsistency with communication competence (e.g., aggression) were also noted (15%). Frequency of particular strategies varied depending on the situation described in the open-ended question, suggesting a variety of strategies may be needed to resist the peer pressure that puts early adolescent girls at risk of engaging in sexual behavior. Study findings extend the typology of resistance strategies identified in adolescent substance initiation and use research to the context of early adolescent sexual behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-580
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 27 2015



  • communication
  • health promotion
  • Hispanic/Latino/Latina
  • middle school
  • peer pressure (positive and negative)
  • sexual behavior (including. pregnancy)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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