Although the initiation of sexual behaviors in adolescence is normative, adverse sexual health outcomes disproportionately affect adolescents relative to adults. Efforts to improve sexual health and increase health promotion behaviors in adolescent populations have not been fully successful. In this paper, we propose that translational research that integrates insights from neuroscience, ecological systems theory, and decision science with adolescent sexual behavior research can lead to advances in our understanding of the etiology and prevention of sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. Moreover, these insights can be further translated to the design and implementation of clinical interventions that improve sexual health.
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