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Childhood experiences and psychosocial influences on HIV risk among adolescent Latinas in southern California.

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Division of Counseling Psychology, Waite Phillips Hall 503, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0031, USA.


This study determined how adverse childhood experiences influenced risky sexual behavior in a community sample of Latina adolescents in Los Angeles (N = 904) within a modified ecodevelopmental perspective. Psychosocial, sociocultural, and environmental mediators of the relations between childhood experiences and risky sexual behavior were tested. Many direct and mediated paths were revealed using structural equation modeling. Childhood maltreatment was associated with risk sexual practices, including more partners, less condom use, more frequent intercourse, and less HIV testing. Drug use and general self-efficacy mediated several relationships. Reducing childhood maltreatment reduced HIV risk and improved psychosocial functioning. Many factors tested did not influence HIV risk. Much of what is known about HIV risk among other populations may not apply to young Latina women.

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