3201.0: Monday, October 22, 2001 - Board 1

Abstract #28454

Gay Teens in Upstate New York: A Study of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Health Risk Behaviors

A. Serdar Atav, PhD, Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000, 607 777-4893, atav@binghamton.edu

This study reports the findings from the 1999 survey of over 2,000 adolescents residing in Upstate New York. Teens in six school districts were surveyed using the Teen Assessment Project Questionnaire that was administered. The questionnaires include questions on: demographics; concerns; tobacco, drug and alcohol use; sexual activity; violence; and social activities. This presentation will focus on the differences in attitudes, beliefs, and health risk behaviors between those teens who have had sex with someone of the same sex more than once and those who have once or never. Rural, suburban, and urban differences in gay teen attitudes, beliefs, and health behaviors will also be described. Initial analyses of the data reveal that 76 of the 2734 teens have had sex with someone of the same sex more than once. These teens are strikingly different from their non-gay schoolmates: They are much more likely to: have tried to kill themselves; not feel safe in school; have sex several times a week; and never use condoms. In addition, these teens reported that they were much more likely to experience unwanted touching and sexual intercourse both by another teen and by an adult. They also indicated that they are many more times likely to be hurt at home, hurt by another teen, adult, or by boy/girl friend. The findings from this study will be used to design programs to reduce health risk behaviors in this population and move to preventative health care strategies in cooperation with the participating school districts.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify attitudes, beliefs, and health behaviors that are significantly riskier among gay teens. 2. Describe rural, suburban, and urban differences among gay teens.

Keywords: Adolescent Health,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA