Online Program

Predictors of behavioral intentions for having safe sex: Attitudes, parenting, and neighborhood variables

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Anne Frankel, PhD, AIDS Prevention Program, Florida International University, North Miami, FL
Michèle Jean-Gilles, Ph.D., Dept. of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Jessy G. Dévieux, Ph.D., Dept. of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Robert Malow, PhD, AIDS Prevention Program, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Background: According to the theory of planned behavior, any given behavior is directly preceded by the intention to perform that behavior. Among adolescents, the mechanism determining intentions for having safe sex is complex and poorly understood. The current study examined attitudes about sex and condoms, parental presence and other elements of the parent-adolescent relationship, as well as neighborhood stress as predictors for safe sex intentions. Methods: The study sample included 196 adolescents ages 13-18 in south Florida. Predictors included condom attitudes, sexual attitudes, global communication, parental presence, parent-family connectedness, parent-adolescent activities, neighborhood disorder, and exposure to violence. Gender, race/ethnicity, family structure, and age were also measured. The outcome variable was a 15-item scale measuring behavioral intentions for safe sex behavior, including intentions to use condoms, to discuss previous sexual partners, and to have sex after using drugs and alcohol (α = .87). A stepwise hierarchical regression was conducted in order to determine the best fit model. Results: The most parsimonious model explained 29% of the variance in behavioral intentions (R2 = .29, F(5,115) = 9.24, p < .001). Five variables made a significant contribution, including gender, sexual attitudes, condom attitudes, parental presence, and neighborhood disorder. Discussion: Findings suggest that attitudes about condoms and sex are valid predictors of intentions for safe sex behavior. The findings further reveal that constructs related to adolescents' social environment, including parental presence and neighborhood disorder also contribute to behavioral intentions, suggesting the importance of incorporating contextual factors in prevention interventions.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the theory of planned behavior applies to predictors of safe sex intentions in adolescents. Identify attitudes, parenting factors, and neighborhood elements that influence safe sex intentions.

Keyword(s): Sexual Risk Behavior, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I recently completed my PhD in Public Health, with a focus in Health Education and Disease Prevention. My dissertation examined adolescent sexual behavior, namely predictors of adolescent sex behavior including attitudes, parenting, and neighborhood stress.
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.