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Improving Research Methodology in Adolescent Sexual Health Research

      See Related Article p. 389
      Adolescent self-reports and retrospective accounts of sexual behavior can be unreliable because of reporting errors, recall bias, social desirability bias, ambiguous or inadequate survey terminology, researcher misclassification of responses, and other factors [
      • Clark L.R.
      • Brasseux C.
      • Richmond D.
      • et al.
      Are adolescents accurate in self-report of frequencies of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies?.
      ,
      • Gallo M.F.
      • Steiner M.J.
      • Hobbs M.M.
      • et al.
      Biological markers of sexual activity: Tools for improving measurement in HIV/sexually transmitted infection prevention research.
      ,
      • McCallum E.B.
      • Peterson Z.D.
      Investigating the impact of inquiry mode on self-reported sexual behavior: Theoretical considerations and review of the literature.
      ,
      • Schroder K.E.
      • Carey M.P.
      • Vanable P.A.
      Methodological challenges in research on sexual risk behavior: II. Accuracy of self-reports.
      ]. Recent technological advances have enabled adolescent sexual health researchers to evaluate whether and how neural activity can affect sexual decision-making. By obtaining data directly from biological measures, researchers avoid sole reliance on self-reported and often retrospective data, and can identify the specific biological mechanisms that can be involved in adolescent sexual decision-making.
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      Linked Article

      • Feasibility of Functional Neuroimaging to Understand Adolescent Women's Sexual Decision Making
        Journal of Adolescent HealthVol. 56Issue 4
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          For young women, new sexual experiences normatively increase after puberty and coincide with extensive changes to brain regions governing self-regulation of risk behavior. These neurodevelopmental changes could leave some young women vulnerable for negative sexual outcomes, including sexually transmitted infection and unintended pregnancy. We evaluated the feasibility of using functional neuroimaging to understand the sexual decision making of adolescent women.
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