CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Personal Mastery among Sexual Minority African American Female Sex Workers.

Department

Department of Family Therapy; Department of Justice and Human Services

Publication Date

11-3-2014

Publication Title

Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services

Volume

26

Issue

4

First Page

407

Last Page

425

Abstract

Research among sexual minorities has traditionally examined problems such as substance use, HIV risk, mental health problems, and victimization. Among sexual minority street-based female sex workers, these vulnerabilities can be magnified. Grounded in theories of resilience, this study examines risk and protective factors associated with a high level of personal mastery among a vulnerable population of women. Data are drawn from baseline interviews from street-based African American female sex workers enrolled in a randomized intervention trial in Miami, Florida. We compare sexual minority (N=197) and heterosexual (N=365) women on measures of risk and protective factors; among sexual minority women we present logistic regression analyses which reveal that severe mental distress and HIV transmission risk are associated with low levels of personal mastery, while protective factors of transportation access and social support are associated with high levels of personal mastery. These findings suggest that these protective factors may potentially facilitate the development of personal mastery and represent beneficial avenues for intervention efforts.

DOI

10.1080/10538720.2014.956242