Online Program

Perspectives on religious upbringing and sexual risk reduction: Mixed method results from a national survey and a qualitative study with church leaders and members

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Danielle Lambert, MPH, CHES, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Religiosity has been shown to largely be a protective factor against sexual risk taking. Often though, measures of religion or spirituality are examined in the present and do not take into account the longitudinal effect of religious upbringing on the development of attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Limited mixed method or qualitative data exists on religious upbringing and on the perceptions from within the church. Thus, mixed methods were utilized to examine how multiple upbringing variables impact sexual health decision making.  Cross-sectional data is being collected from a national survey disseminated electronically through schools, churches, and community organizations. No exclusion criteria were set forth, except the individual must be 18 years of age and currently residing in the US. Bivariate analyses, regressions, and correlations will be run to determine relationships between personal demographics, upbringing, and risk behaviors. Qualitative interviews are also being conducted with church leaders and members from churches in the Atlanta metro area implementing a faith-based HIV prevention program with female African American congregants aged 18-34 years. Transcripts will be analyzed for emerging themes and compared across age groups and genders. The recommendations formed from these findings could help in understanding the long term influences of religious upbringing on sexual decision making. The opinions of church leadership and members can also help practitioners create tailored programming which meets the immediate needs of the community, but also takes into consideration barriers to sexual health education in religious communities such as stigma, acceptance, and alignment with church doctrine.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the long term impact of upbringing on sexual decision making. Evaluate the opinions of pastors and church members about sexual risk reduction and alignment with religious doctrines. Identify recommendations from the mixed method findings for future programming and relationships with faith-based organizations that accounts for the influence of religion over one’s life course.

Keyword(s): Sexual Risk Behavior, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on multiple federally funded grants focusing on reproductive health, sexual risk reduction, and faith-based HIV prevention among female adolescents and adults. Among my scientific interests has been the use of mixed methodologies to examine the role of social determinants, psychosocial factors, and upbringing in decision making and engagement in high risk behaviors.
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.