Prevalence and correlates of AIDS-risk behaviors among urban minority high school students

Heather J. Walter, Roger D. Vaughan, Deborah Ragin, Alwyn T. Cohall, Stephanie Kasen, Robert E. Fullilove

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Abstract

Background. To guide the development of an AIDS prevention program for urban minority high school students, the authors investigated the prevalence of AIDS-risk behaviors, and the relative explanatory power of demographic, contextual, and cognitive correlates of these behaviors, among black and Hispanic students in three New York City public high schools. Methods. A survey was administered to a randomly selected sample of classrooms in the 9th through 12th grades of three public academic high schools in a New York City borough. Survey participants (n = 926) were 59% black and 34% Hispanic; the mean age was 16.4 (sd 1.4) years. Results. Two-thirds of students reported having had sexual intercourse. of the more than one-half of students who reported past-year intercourse, three-quarters had never or had inconsistently used condoms, one-third had multiple intercourse partners, one-tenth had a sexually transmitted disease, and one-twentieth had intercourse with a high-risk partner. Demographic (i.e., age, race/ethnicity) and contextual (i.e., academic failure, substance use, adverse life circumstances, cues to prevention) factors were most strongly associated with involvement in AIDS-risk behaviors; in contrast, cognitive factors (i.e., knowledge and beliefs about AIDS and AIDS-preventive actions) had little explanatory power. Conclusions. Addressing demographic and contextual risk factors for involvement in AIDS-related behaviors may prove to be a more powerful AIDS-prevention strategy among adolescents than simply teaching facts about AIDS and fostering prevention-related beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-824
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993

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Risk-Taking
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Students
Demography
Hispanic Americans
Foster Home Care
Sexual Partners
Coitus
Condoms
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Cues
Teaching

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Walter, Heather J. ; Vaughan, Roger D. ; Ragin, Deborah ; Cohall, Alwyn T. ; Kasen, Stephanie ; Fullilove, Robert E. / Prevalence and correlates of AIDS-risk behaviors among urban minority high school students. In: Preventive Medicine. 1993 ; Vol. 22, No. 6. pp. 813-824.
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Prevalence and correlates of AIDS-risk behaviors among urban minority high school students. / Walter, Heather J.; Vaughan, Roger D.; Ragin, Deborah; Cohall, Alwyn T.; Kasen, Stephanie; Fullilove, Robert E.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 22, No. 6, 01.01.1993, p. 813-824.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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