A new study suggests that among teen and young adults, poor mental health has a reciprocal relationship with casual sex as each contribute to the other over time.
Ohio State University researchers found that teens who showed depressive symptoms were more likely than others to engage in casual sex as young adults.
In addition, those who engaged in casual sex were more likely to later seriously consider suicide.
“Several studies have found a link between poor mental health and casual sex, but the nature of that association has been unclear,” said Sara Sandberg-Thoma, doctoral student and lead author of the study.
“There’s always been a question about which one is the cause and which is the effect. This study provides evidence that poor mental health can lead to casual sex, but also that casual sex leads to additional declines in mental health.”
The research has been published online in the Journal of Sex Research and will appear in a future print edition.
One surprising finding was that the link between casual sex and mental health was the same for both men and women.
via Psych Central News.