Adolescents' Self Perceptions: Connecting Psychosocial Competencies to the Sexual Self-Concept.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Sex Res, p.1-11 (2023)


<p>Adolescence is a crucial period for the development of the sexual self-concept. While existing research shows that adolescents' sexual self-concept varies, few studies have examined its relation with psychosocial competencies such as the general self-concept, interpersonal skills, and self-control capacities. The objective of this study was to examine the association between dimensions of the sexual self-concept (sexual self- and body esteem, self-efficacy, and anxiety) and psychosocial competencies among Canadian adolescents. Self-reported data from 1584 adolescents aged between 14 and 18 years (49.7% girls) were analyzed using path analysis. Results show that adolescents whose general self-concept was characterized by more internally consistent self-beliefs and greater self-worth, and who perceived their interpersonal skills as more developed, displayed higher sexual self- and body esteem, higher sexual self-efficacy, and lower sexual anxiety. Self-control capacities were positively correlated with sexual body-esteem and negatively correlated with sexual anxiety. These associations were, however, minimal and, when significant, exhibited a counterintuitive relationship with the sexual self-concept in the path model. Age, gender and sexual experience did not moderate these associations. Findings from the study highlight the need to pursue research on the interface between sexuality and psychosocial functioning to increase current understanding of adolescent development.</p>

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