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Relationship of stress, depression, social support, and health locus of control with chlamydial and gonococcal infection among high-risk young women

Nadra C. Tyus, MPH1, Robert Cook, MD, MPH2, Kathryn Mazzaferro, BS3, Debby Bass, MS3, Allison Guaspari, BA3, and Roberta B Ness, MD, MPH4. (1) Graduate School of Public Health; Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto St., Pittsburgh, PA 15261, (412) 362-6006, nct3@pitt.edu, (2) Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 230 McKee Place, Suite 600, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, (3) Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto St., 530A Crabtree Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, (4) Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The purpose of this study is to identify whether psychosocial factors are associated with past and current Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis infections among high-risk, young women and to establish whether these relationships differ in Black and White women. 403 women (70% Black, aged 14-29) were recruited from a variety of clinical and community settings. Half had a known STI at baseline (n= 201); the remaining women were assessed for a current chlamydial and gonococcal infection at baseline (n=202). All completed a baseline survey that measured stress (4 items), depression (CES_D score >24), social support (5 items), and health locus of control (9 items). Of 403 women participating in the study, 39.7% (n=160) self-reported a past STI, and 14.4% (n=29) of the 202 women tested at baseline had a STI. A past STI was more common among women with higher levels of stress (48.4% vs. 31.9%, p=0.001), depressed (51.6% vs. 34.6%, p=0.001), had decreased social support (47.4 vs.31.4%, p=0.001), or believed they had no control over getting a STI (45.5% vs. 34.4%, p=0.02). A current STI was more common among women who were stressed (19.6% vs. 10.0%, p=0.05) or depressed (22.0% vs. 11.2%, p=0.04). The relationship of these psychosocial factors with past and current STI was similar across racial groups. Further research is needed to determine whether addressing depression and other social support issues will lead to reductions in risky behavior and future STIs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participants will be able to

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.

Reproductive Health of Young People: U.S. and International Viewpoints

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