What Do We Really Know About Adolescent Sexual Health Education: A Dimensional Concept Analysis

Academic Article


  • Adolescent sexual health education is a complex concept with multiple dimensions. Approximately 95% of adolescents report receiving sexual health education before graduating high school but the concept of adolescent sexual health has not been defined and consistently used in research. The dimensional analysis method of concept analysis was used to uncover the key dimensions that comprise adolescent sexual health education. The dimensions discussed in this analysis are (a) educational content, (b) length of intervention, (c) curriculum timing, (d) delivery of content, and (e) measurable outcomes. From the studies in this analysis, educational content was the most discussed dimension. Length of intervention and measurable outcomes were the most variable dimensions where standardization could have the greatest effect. Reporting sexual health education interventions using these five dimensions will reduce difficulty in comparing and evaluating studies. Using these dimensions to standardize reporting, will help researchers uncover the most effective sexual health education programs. Once the most effective programs are uncovered, they can be replicated nationwide to improve adolescent sexual health outcomes.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Corcoran JL; Patrician PA; Childs GD; Shirey MR
  • Start Page

  • 342
  • End Page

  • 357
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 3