Data from almost 5,000 adolescent respondents to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) are used to examine the mechanisms that transmit the facilitative effect of residential mobility on the timing of the transition to first premarital sexual intercourse. Adolescents who have recently moved are approximately one third more likely than nonmobile adolescents to experience first premarital intercourse between the first two waves of Add Health. We find that much of the difference between adolescent movers and stayers in the onset of sexual activity is attributable to the greater propensity for delinquency and the weaker academic performance among members of movers school-based friendship networks. Adolescents' own delinquent behavior and academic performance also help to mediate the association between residential mobility and the transition to first intercourse. (Author abstract)
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Residential Mobility and the Onset of Adolescent Sexual Activity.