Prevalence and Correlates of AIDS-Risk Behaviors Among Urban Minority High School Students
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.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Walter, Heather J.; Vaughan, Roger D.; Ragin, Deborah; Cohall, Alwyn T.; Kasen, Stephanie; and Fullilove, Robert E., "Prevalence and Correlates of AIDS-Risk Behaviors Among Urban Minority High School Students" (1993). Department of Psychology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 384.