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Keywords:

  • sexual abstinence;
  • perceptions of power;
  • decisional balance;
  • self-efficacy;
  • processes of change;
  • female adolescents

Purposes: (a) To examine the relations among processes of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, perceptions of personal power, and relationship power to stage of change (SOC) for sexual abstinence behavior, and (b) to identify the important explanatory factors of SOC for sexual abstinence among adolescent virgins who were dating steady boyfriends.

Design: A cross-sectional survey. Female adolescents (N=500) who were dating steady boyfriends and had not had sexual experience in the past were selected.

Methods: An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was used with parts concerning: age, processes of change for sexual abstinence, decisional balance for sexual abstinence, self-efficacy for sexual abstinence, perceptions of personal power, perceptions of relationship power, and SOC for sexual abstinence.

Findings: Processes of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, perceptions of personal power, and relationship power differed across the SOC for sexual abstinence. Stepwise logistic regression showed higher self-efficacy for sexual abstinence, higher decisional balance for sexual abstinence, and lower age increased the probability of being in the definite group (preparation and action stage). In the final regression model 77.3% of the participants were correctly classified.

Conclusions: This information about SOC for sexual abstinence can be used by health professionals for intervention strategies for adolescent girls who were dating steady boyfriends.