132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Little sisters in cyberspace: Adolescent Black girls' interactions with sexual health content on Internet websites

LaHoma S. Romocki, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, P.O. Box 971, Creedmoor, NC 27522, 919-528-4280, lromocki@wpo.nccu.edu

The Internet has become important as a tool for providing sexual health information to adolescents. As Internet access and use increase among all adolescents, there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that play a role in how adolescent audiences choose, use and evaluate the sexual and sexual health messages they receive via this medium. This is particularly true for Black girls who are frequently described as being initiated earlier into sexual activity and suffer poorer reproductive health outcomes than their White peers. This study provides empirical data on Black adolescent girls’ use, interactions, and interpretations of various websites. Also examined were the girls’ website preferences and where they turned to seek sexual and reproductive health information. In-depth interviews with twenty (20) Black adolescent females aged 13-16 and an observational study of their website interactions were conducted during the summer of 2003. Secondary analysis of the internet practices of 704 7th and 8th grade Black girls and an overall comprehensive analysis combining quantitative and qualitative data was also performed. Major findings from this research suggest that Black girls may differ from other girls in their approach to and use of sexual and reproductive health content on these websites. Strategies for developing culturally relevant and effective internet-based sexual health communication messages and opportunities for intervention aimed at adolescent Black girls will be proposed.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Adolescents, Internet

    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.

    Health for All: Promoting Health in Special Populations

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA