African American and Hispanic adolescent STI and pregnancy prevention: Whose responsibility is it, anyway?
This dissertation utilized quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the role of responsibility in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy through condom use and other sexual behaviors among young adolescents. Data were analyzed across race and gender and three papers were developed. The quantitative portion used logistic regression to assess associations between personal responsibility, as well as other know correlates, and reported condom use and condom use intentions as a means of STI and pregnancy prevention among 445 inner-city, high school adolescents. Responsibility to prevent pregnancy by providing the condom was associated with condom use at last sex and consistent condom use. Responsibility to prevent acquiring a STI by using a condom was significantly associated with consistent condom use. No significant associations were found between responsibility and condom use intentions. ^ The qualitative section of the dissertation project involved conducting 28 in-depth interviews among 9th and 10th grade, African American and Hispanic students who attended a large urban school district in South Central Texas. Perceptions of responsibility for preventing STIs and unintended pregnancy, as well as for condom use, were explored. Male and female adolescents expressed joint responsibility to prevent a STI or pregnancy. Perceptions of responsibility for providing and using the condoms were mixed. Despite the indication of both partners, mostly all participants implied that females, more so than the males, had the final responsibility to prevent contracting a STI, a pregnancy, to provide a condom, and to make sure a condom was used. Participants expressed the role of parents' involvement for preventing these outcomes as well as the need for more sexual health education and access to preventative methods. ^ The last section of this dissertation involved qualitative inquiry to ascertain perceptions of reasons why adolescents engage in anal and oral (non-coital) sex. Pleasure-seeking and giving as well social influence and pressure were described as the main reasons why teenagers have non-coital sex. Other reasons included conveniences of participating in these behaviors such as ease of performing oral sex and anal sex as a convenient alternative to vaginal sex. Sexual inexperience was an indicator for why anal sex occurs. Many of the reasons involved misperceptions and adolescents who practice these sexual behaviors place themselves at-risk for contracting a STI. ^ This dissertation increased the current knowledge base about adolescent sexual responsibility and non-coital behaviors. Future studies should explore perceptions of responsibility and actual sexual activity practices among adolescents to reduce the burden of STIs and pregnancy as well as help public health professionals develop programs for adolescent populations, schools, and communities where these issues persist.^
Psychology, Behavioral|Health Sciences, Public Health|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Audrey Elaine Mendez,
"African American and Hispanic adolescent STI and pregnancy prevention: Whose responsibility is it, anyway?"
(January 1, 2011).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).