School counselor strategies for preventing sexual risk taking behaviors in adolescents
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Sexual development and interest in sex is a normal part of adolescent development, but the negative outcomes of unprotected intercourse can result in life changing consequences such as an unplanned pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection. Although the prevalence of these consequences have improvement over the past decade, the United States still has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates and highest prevalence of youth sexually transmitted infection among developed countries. In this report, the determinants that lead adolescents to engage in sex and fail to use contraceptives are reviewed. With knowledge on what factors contribute to adolescent sexual risk taking behaviors, counseling strategies can be implemented to prevent and intervene, and the school counselor is in a prime setting for delivery. The prevention strategies that are covered in this review are grouped into five categories. They are education, skill building, enhancing student development, involving parents and families, and implementing programs.