In this study, one of the most interesting results related to how heavy episodic drinking predicted having multiple sex partners within the past year. Both figures show the association is between heavy episodic drinking and having multiple sex partners. In the figures, both males and females show an association that is much stronger in early adolescence and decreases greatly by age 22. The greatest difference can be observed in later adolescence, from ages 17 –20. During this time, the association between HED and multiple sex partners is somewhat stronger for females.
Sometimes while analyzing data, scientists make assumptions about the shape of a curve without any knowledge of its true shape. In this study, if a linear effect of time was estimated, the gender differences may not have been detected. The %TVEM SAS macro allows researchers to uncover these nuances.
Vasilenko, S. A., & Lanza, S. T. (2014). Predictors of multiple sexual partners from adolescence through young adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health. 55(4), 491-497.