Objective: The objective of this study was to assess associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and adolescent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) stratified by race and gender.
Study: In cross-sectional analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Wave One (1995), unadjusted and adjusted associations between 4 family SES indicators and STD reports for black and white 7th through 12th graders were examined.
Results: Lower maternal education and nonprofessional maternal occupations were associated with higher STD reports in all groups except white females. Generally, STD reports were higher for adolescents not living in 2-parent homes, and lower income was only associated for black males.
Conclusion: Overall, SES is only a weak to moderate marker for adolescent STD risks. The relationship of SES and STDs varies by the SES measure used and differs across race-gender groups. Other individual factors such as risk behaviors or community factors such as income inequality could play a more critical role for adolescent STDs than family SES.