The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4299.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #58895

Race-Gender differences among Maryland youths living in out-of-home state funded group care

Robert Strack, PhD1, Karyn Anderson2, Camelia Graham2, Naomi Tomoyasu, PhD3, Christine Weston, PhD4, and Cheryl S. Alexander, PhD5. (1) Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina Greensboro, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, 336-334-3239,, (2) Maryland AIDS Administration, 500 N. Calvert St., 5th Floor, Baltimore, NC 21202, (3) AIDS Administration, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 500 N. Calvert Street, 5th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, (4) Maryland AIDS Administration, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 500 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, (5) Center for Adolescent Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, The Johns Hopkins University, 2007 East Monument Street, 2nd floor, Baltimore, MD 21205

Background: The Monitoring Adolescents in Risky Situations (MARS) behavioral surveillance project assesses experiences and behaviors of youths living in out-of-home state-funded group care. Findings on environmental experiences and behaviors affecting health by race-gender subgroups are presented to better understand the unique needs of each subgroup.

Methods: In 1999, 328 out-of-home adolescents (14-21 yrs) completed the MARS youth risk survey. Descriptive statistics and odd ratio analysis outline race-gender differences among this high-risk youth population.

Results: Results demonstrate significant health concerns overall and notable differences between race-gender subgroups. A sample of the findings include that compared to other race-gender groups, African American males were 2.4 times (p-value=0.0002) more likely to have their first sexual encounter before the age of 13, and 2.3 times (p-value=0.005) more likely to report survival sex experiences. African American and White females were 2.5 times more likely than males to have left home due to abuse, and African American females were 2.8 times (p-value=0.003) more likely to report having had an STI. White females were 2.4 times (p-value=0.09) more likely to report a rape event, and 3.8 times (p-value=0.003) more likely to have attempted suicide in past year. Among sexually active youth, 46% reported not using a condom at last sex and 44% reported having had sex with two or more people on same day. Other race-gender findings are presented.

Discussion: There is a need for effective interventions focusing on the specific needs of vulnerable youths. Findings from the MARS project have important implications for tailoring programs that target youth in out-of-home residential group care.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Domestic and International Reproductive Health: A Mosaic of Adolescent Experiences

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA