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HIV Risk-Related Attitudes, Interpersonal Influences, and Intentions Among At-Risk Urban, Early Adolescent Girls

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Objective : To examine correlates of sexual experimentation and risk among urban, early adolescent girls (N = 236, 12.38 1.2 years).

Methods : Measures of HIV risk-related attitudes, interpersonal influences, and intentions were compared based on girls' degree of sexual experimentation and risk.

Results : Girls in high sexual experimentation and risk groups scored highest on deviant peer norms; endorsements of risky behaviors; and inability to refuse unprotected sex, offset negative partner influences, avoid intercourse, and assert sexual desires. Greater experimentation occurred among girls with older versus same-age or younger partners.

Conclusions : Risk correlates should be considered in designing HIV prevention programs.

Keywords: HIV infection risks; early adolescent females; psychosocial influences

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, NY.

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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