Sexual abstinence and the sexual abstinence behavior scale

Anne E. Norris, Leslie F. Clark, Sondra Magnus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nurses may choose to promote sexual abstinence, particularly when they are working with young adolescents. However, it is difficult to know how to intervene because sexual abstinence has not been well defined in the literature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometrics of a four-item measure of sexual abstinence behavior (the SABS) that both registered nurses and advanced practice nurses may find useful in their practice. Method: African American, middle school students (n = 113) completed a self-administered questionnaire during their health education class. The questionnaire contained the SABS along with items assessing demographics, sexual behavior, and psychosocial variables related to sexual behavior. Results: Psychometric analysis supported SABS reliability (a = .73) and validity. For example, SABS scores correlated with perceived negative consequences of teen sex (r = 0.38) and sexual abstinence self-efficacy (r = 0.48). Discussion: Although the SABS is still in a preliminary stage of development, it is useful for assessment purposes and for directing registered nurses and advanced practice nurses toward specific behaviors they may want to promote when teaching sexual abstinence to their young adolescent patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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