College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Predictors of African-American Adolescents' Condom Use and HIV Risk Behavior.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1996

Keywords

adolescent behavior, african americans, condoms, HIV infections, health knowledge, predictive value of tests, questionnaires, poverty, regression analysis, risk factors, risk-taking, sexual behavior

Publication Title

AIDS Education and Prevention

ISSN

0899-9546

Volume

8

Issue/No.

6

Abstract

This study evaluated predictors of risky and safer behavior in a sample of low-income African American adolescents, assessed their perceptions of the risk associated with their sexual behavior, and examined differences between adolescents who used condoms consistently, inconsistently, or engaged only in unprotected intercourse. African American adolescents (N = 312) completed measures related to AIDS knowledge, frequency of condom use, attitudes toward condoms, and sexual behavior over the preceding 2 months. Multiple regression analyses for the sexually active youths (N = 114) revealed that lower self-efficacy, higher perceived risk, and male gender were associated with high-risk behavior. Positive attitudes toward condoms and younger age had the strongest association with condom use. Consistent condom users were more knowledgeable and held more positive attitudes toward condoms, and nonusers were older. Regardless of their behavior, the adolescents generally did not perceive themselves to be a risk for HIV infection. The findings suggest that precautionary practices (condom use) and high-risk behavior (unprotected sex with multiple partners) may have different correlates. In addition, the data indicate that theoretical models developed with homosexual male populations may also be generalizable to African American adolescents' sexual behavior.

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