The Association between Awareness of Sexual Behavior and Cognitive Social Capital among High School Students in Vietnam


Background: Globally, adolescent sexual behavior is a major health concern and the focus of many researches. However, negative attitude towards premarital sex and sense of community belonging have not been examined in relation to adolescent sexual behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine whether these two factors are associated with adolescent sexual behavior. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 1672 eleventh grade students from three public high schools in Hanoi, Vietnam. Participants’ sense of community belonging and negative attitude towards premarital sex were assessed through a self-administered questionnaire. We performed multiple logistic regression analyses to examine associations between the cognitive social capital concepts, such as a sense of community belonging. Results: 92.3% of students agreed with a sense of community belonging, but only 14.1% of students accepted premarital sex. A high sense of community belonging was significantly associated with negative attitude towards premarital sex OR (95% CI), male 3.16 (2.3-4.34), female 8.77 (5.38-14.29). After adjusting for a sense of community belonging, the association disappeared between acceptance of premarital sex and sexual experience of peers, proper time to wear a condom, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale score. Conclusion: Cognitive social capital, such as sense of community belonging, was associated with negative attitude towards premarital sex. Therefore, cognitive social capital concepts should be included in sexual behavior and health promotions, especially with adolescents.

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Watanabe, K. , Kaneko, Y. , Fujita, K. and Motohashi, Y. (2014) The Association between Awareness of Sexual Behavior and Cognitive Social Capital among High School Students in Vietnam. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 116-122. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.43016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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