146910 A qualitative approach in conceptualizing African-American and Latina late-adolescent females' perspectives on their sexual practices and communication patterns

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 12:30 PM

Callie J. Oneese, PhD , Counseling Center, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC
Despite the large body of research on the antecedent factors in explaining adolescent sexually risky behaviors that can result in contracting a sexually transmitted infection, the interaction of these factors that place African-American and Latina late-adolescent females at disproportionate risk of HIV infection has not been yet fully understood. In addition, studies have also called for gender-appropriate, age-specific and culturally-relevant HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns; however, there is a paucity of research studies that offer tangible models of prevention and has a utilitarian effect. To address these deficits, a qualitative design grounded in a constructivist paradigm was employed to extract the complex underpinning of sexually risky behaviors by identifying themes derived from 19 African-American and Latina female participants, between the ages of 19 and 22, in several domains, including knowledge of HIV transmission, thoughts and behaviors about their sexual experiences and safe sex practices, and communication patterns with their sex partners. For instance, results yielded three broad themes—Just-Kind-of-Happened, Forms of External Pressure and Threats, and Need for Validation and Acceptance—in the area of their sexual experiences. Themes in other domains were further extracted which resulted in a conceptual model that attempts to account for sexually risky behaviors among this population. The implication of HIV prevention identified the what, the when, and the how of HIV prevention messages by offering more effective methods of delivering new content domains (e.g., clarifying the health implications involving discrete sexual behaviors) at an earlier age. This study also identified five key research avenues.

Learning Objectives:
Understand ways in which current and traditional methodological research designs in HIV prevention literature are inherently flawed, which has narrowed the kind of data needed to comprehend fully the complex nature of the AIDS crisis among the youth Identify the themes, which were derived from the participants’ perceptions, in the following domains: Knowledge on HIV transmission; thoughts and behaviors about their sexual experiences and safe sex practices, and communication patterns with their sex partners Conceptualize from a different perspective the qualitative-derived themes into a model that explains for adolescent females’ sexually risky behaviors Discuss the implication for more relevant HIV prevention messages by proposing new content (what of the message), a different age group to address such information (when of the message), and more effective method of delivering the information (how of the message) Describe five future research implications in the area HIV prevention

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.