Online Program

Social capital and sexual risk-taking behaviors among hispanic young adults: A longitudinal analysis

Monday, November 4, 2013

Syeda Jesmin, PhD, MPH, Sociology, University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX
Background: Hispanic adolescents in the United States experience disproportionately higher risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy, and HIV infection compared to non-Hispanic Whites. Previous studies have highlighted the individual socioeconomic, demographic as well as neighborhood contextual factors. However, little or no consideration has been given to understand any longitudinal association and the effects of social capital. The current study examines if social capital is associated with sexual risk-taking behaviors among Hispanic young adults in the United States. Methods: Data were obtained from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health (AddHealth), Wave III (2001-2) and Wave IV (2007-8). The dependent variable sexual risk-taking behavior was measured by condom use and number of sex partners. The independent variable social capital was measured with three indicators: neighborhood trust, church attendance, and community participation. The hypothesized relationship was tested with three multivariate ordinary least squares linear regression models. Results: When controlled for individual demographic and socioeconomic factors, findings indicate that for Hispanic young adults social capital was associated with lower risk-taking behaviors. Community participation was associated with an increase of condom use by 0.23 (p <0.01). However, significant gender differences were found in the neighborhood trust and church attendance effects on sexual risk-taking behaviors. Conclusions: This study extends the findings of prior studies by providing new evidence on social capital effects on Hispanic adolescents' sexual risk-taking behaviors. This study suggests that educational campaigns to promote safer sex among Hispanic adolescents should consider focusing on strategies towards increasing social capital.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify community level factors in sexual risk-taking behaviors. Discuss gender differences in Hispanic adolescents’ sexual risk behaviors Discuss intervention strategies to increase social capital at the community level

Keyword(s): Sexual Risk Behavior, Hispanic Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed the study design and analyzed the data for the study.
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.