Author ORCID Identifier

Dexter R. Voisin

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-11-2013

Abstract

Exposure to community violence and HIV sexual risks are two major public health concerns among youth. This study tests various pathways linking exposure to community violence and sexual behaviors among African American adolescents. Using a sample of 563 (61 % females) African American youth attending high school we examined whether problematic psychological symptoms, low school engagement, and/or negative perceptions of peer norms about safer sex functioned as pathways linking exposure to community violence and sexual behaviors. Major findings indicated that, for boys, the relationship between exposure to community violence and sexual début and sexual risk behaviors were linked by aggression. In addition, the relationship between exposure to community violence and sexual risk behaviors were linked by negative perceptions of peer attitudes about safer sex. For girls, the relationship between exposure to community violence and sexual début was linked by aggression and negative perceptions of peer attitudes about safer sex. These findings provide support for pathways linking exposure to community violence to sexual behaviors.

Keywords

exposure to community violence, HIV risk, pathways, sexual behaviors, youth

Publication Title

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Volume

43

Issue

9

First Page

1513

Last Page

1526

Rights

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Comments

This is a peer reviewed Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Springer in Journal of Youth and Adolescence, available at: 10.1007/s10964-013-0068-5

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