History of Sexual Abuse and Development of Sexual Risk Behavior in Low-Income, Urban African American Girls Seeking Mental Health Treatment
a Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences , Stanford University School of Medicine , Stanford , California , USA. Women & Health
(Impact Factor: 1.05).
05/2013; 53(4):384-404. DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2013.790337
This study examined relationships between sexual abuse and patterns of sexual risk-taking among low-income, urban African American adolescent girls seeking mental health treatment.
Participants (N = 158) were 12- to 16-year-old African American girls recruited from outpatient mental health clinics serving urban, mostly low-socioeconomic status communities in Chicago, Illinois and followed for two years between 2003 and 2010. This study included self-reports of sexual abuse and four waves (T2-T5) of self-reported data on sexual experience and sexual risk-taking (number of partners, inconsistent condom use, and sex with a risky partner). Latent curve modeling was used to examine patterns of sexual behavior over the four time points with sexual abuse and mental health symptoms as covariates.
Sexual abuse was significantly associated with T2 sexual experience, T2-T4 number of partners, T3 inconsistent condom use, and T2-T3 having a risky partner. These relationships decreased when mental health symptoms were controlled.
This longitudinal study revealed a complex relationship between sexual abuse and sexual risk that would be missed if sexual risk were assessed at a single time point. Findings supported early intervention to delay onset of sexual risk behavior among low-income African American girls with mental health concerns and histories of sexual abuse.
Available from: Shyrley Díaz-Cárdenas
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Objective: To describe the prevalence of sexual
activity and the undesired results in sexual and
reproductive health in university students.
Materials and methods: Descriptive crosssectional
study conducted among 979 students from
a public university in Cartagena enrolled during the
second term of 2012 in day and classroom courses.
A probabilistic proportional fixation sampling
was performed. An anonymous self-administered
questionnaire was used to assess socio-demographic
history and sexual activity (initiation age, type and
conditions of the sexual relation, contraception
methods), as well as undesired results (pregnancies,
abortions). The prevalence of sexual activity and
undesired results was estimated by means of
proportions and 95 % confidence intervals. The chi
square test (p < 0.05) was used to explore potential
relations with socio-demographic variables and
variables associated with the student role.
Results: The mean age of initiation of sexual
activity was 16.6 years (SD = 2.0); 8.5 % of the
university students reported pregnancies, of which
79.5 % were undesired and 7 % occurred as a result
of intercourse under the influence of alcohol. Of
these, 6.7 % ended in abortion and were induced
in 47.2 %. Of the respondents, 2.8 % reported
having been diagnosed at some point with a
sexually transmitted disease, with a higher number
among women and students in their sixth to tenth
academic semester (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Early initiation of sexual activity
among university students gives rise to undesired
outcomes such as pregnancy and abortion as a result
mainly of unprotected intercourse or inebriation.
Key words: Sexual behavior, student, gestation,
induced abortion, sexually transmitted diseases.
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ABSTRACT: Behavioral interventions to reduce sexual risk behavior depend on strong health behavior theory. By identifying the psychosocial variables that lead causally to sexual risk, theories provide interventionists with a guide for how to change behavior. However, empirical research is critical to determining whether a particular theory adequately explains sexual risk behavior. A large body of cross-sectional evidence, which has been reviewed elsewhere, supports the notion that certain theory-based constructs (e.g., self-efficacy) are correlates of sexual behavior. However, given the limitations of inferring causality from correlational research, it is essential that we review the evidence from more methodologically rigorous studies (i.e., longitudinal and experimental designs). This systematic review identified 44 longitudinal studies in which investigators attempted to predict sexual risk from psychosocial variables over time. We also found 134 experimental studies (i.e., randomized controlled trials of HIV interventions), but of these only 9 (6.7 %) report the results of mediation analyses that might provide evidence for the validity of health behavior theories in predicting sexual behavior. Results show little convergent support across both types of studies for most traditional, theoretical predictors of sexual behavior. This suggests that the field must expand the body of empirical work that utilizes the most rigorous study designs to test our theoretical assumptions. The inconsistent results of existing research would indicate that current theoretical models of sexual risk behavior are inadequate, and may require expansion or adaptation.
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