Online Program

Adolescent and provider perspectives on fatalism and adolescent sexual risk behavior: Results from a national qualitative study and implications for theory and practice

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rachel Hallum-Montes, PhD, Cicatelli Associates Inc., New York, NY
Researchers have devoted considerable attention to identifying demographic, behavioral, and psychological covariates of adolescent sexual risk behavior (SRB) in the United States. The attention is warranted, as the U.S. continues to have higher rates of adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than other industrialized nations. To-date, however, few qualitative studies have examined the underlying mechanisms that influence adolescent sexual behavior in the U.S.. Furthermore, few attempts have been made to link psychological approaches that examine individual-level risk correlates with approaches that focus on the social determinants of health. The present study addresses these gaps in research through a qualitative examination of adolescent and provider perspectives on factors associated with adolescent SRB, specifically on the association between fatalistic attitudes and sexual risk amongst adolescents. Qualitative interview data was collected between 2011-2013 with 58 adolescents and 52 providers, as part of larger research and evaluation projects funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Adolescent Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau. A grounded theory analysis of interview data elucidates the connections between poverty and a lack of resources/opportunities, fatalistic attitudes, and adolescent SRB. The study concludes by calling for the need to develop integrative theoretical models that link social determinants of health to individual-level health behaviors and outcomes, as well as the need for health systems and community-level interventions that address fatalistic attitudes in adolescents and young adults.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the links between social determinants of health including poverty and lack of resources, fatalistic attitudes, and sexual risk behavior in adolescents; identify potential health systems and community level interventions to address fatalistic attitudes and reduce sexual risk behavior in adolescents and young adults

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Principal Investigator or co-Investigator for the studies referenced in this presentation. I have also assumed primary responsibility for analysis and reporting of the qualitative data reported in this presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.