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Open Access Effects of a Sexual Risk Reduction Program for African-American Adolescents on Social Cognitive Antecedents of Behavior Change

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Objectives: To identify social cognitive outcomes relevant to a specific adolescent sexual risk reduction intervention, and to examine the program's impact on these. Methods: A randomized control trial involving 763 adolescents (recruited during 2012-2014) who were randomly assigned to either an 8-session general health intervention (control) or an 8-session sexual risk reduction intervention (treatment). Seven social cognitive outcomes were identified and assessed post-program using ordinary least squares regression. Results: Post-program, the treatment group exhibited greater knowledge, self-efficacy, attitudes, and intentions related to safer sex practices. No differences in attitudes toward abstinence, peer norms, or perceived vulnerability. Conclusions: Results are promising, though insignificant results may diminish the program's behavioral impact. More research is needed to determine the extent to which outcomes are related to short and long term risk behaviors.

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Keywords: ADOLESCENTS; INTERVENTION; SEXUAL BEHAVIOR; SOCIAL COGNITIVE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Policy & Research Group, New Orleans, LA, USA. [email protected] 2: The Policy & Research Group, New Orleans, LA, USA 3: Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA, USA

Publication date: 2015-09-01

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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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