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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1993 Feb;61(1):104-12.

African-American adolescents' knowledge, health-related attitudes, sexual behavior, and contraceptive decisions: implications for the prevention of adolescent HIV infection.

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  • 1Community Health Program, Jackson State University, Mississippi 39217-0105.

Abstract

African-American adolescents (N = 195) completed measures of knowledge related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), attitudes toward condoms, health locus of control, vulnerability to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, peer sexual norms, personal sexual behavior for the past 6 months, and contraceptive preferences. Hotelling's T2 tests revealed that girls were more knowledgeable about AIDS, reported fewer sexual partners, held more positive attitudes toward precautionary sexual behavior, and perceived themselves to have greater self-control than boys. Five variables accounted for 44% of the variance in condom use: condom use from the 1st intercourse occasion, earlier grade in school, lower belief in an external locus of control, and higher scores on the Effect on Sexual Experience and Self-Control subscales of the Condom Attitude Scale. Implications for the content, format, and timing of HIV prevention with African-American adolescents are discussed.

PIP:

Samples of adolescents in the US which suggest that HIV seroprevalence is climbing affirm the at-risk status of youths for HIV infection. Minority and disadvantaged youths are at even greater overall risk within the general national population of youths. Adolescent HIV infection probably accounts for thousands of current AIDS cases and 75,000 adolescents are estimated to already be infected with HIV. Despite the fact that more than half of all adolescents in the US are sexually active. they accept condoms less than adults. Reported rates of sexual activity among minority adolescents are as high as 80%, with African-American youths being disproportionately represented among AIDS and HIV cases diagnoses in youths. To gain some insight into this community, 195 African-Americans of mean age 15.3 years and average grade in school 9.6 were recruited in the southeast US from a public health service-funded clinic, community-based teen centers and after school programs, and the waiting room of a family service agency to complete measures of knowledge reacted to AIDS, attitudes toward condoms, health locus of control, vulnerability to HIV infection, peer sexual norms, personal sexual behavior over the previous 6 months and contraceptive preferences. 82% of the sample received Medicaid; 70% reported being sexually active and first intercourse occurred at the average ate of 11.7 years. Girls were found to be more knowledgeable about AIDS, reported fewer sexual partners, held more positive attitudes toward precautionary sexual behavior, and perceived themselves to have greater self-control than boys. The following variables accounted for 44% of the variance in condom use: condom use from the first intercourse occasion, earlier grade in school, lower belief in an external locus of control, and higher scores on the Effect on Sexual Experience and Self-Control subscales of the Condom Attitude Scale. Implications for the content, format, and timing of HIV prevention among these adolescents are discussed.

PMID:
8450095
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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