Risk perceptions, condom use, and sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent females according to social network position

Julie A. Bettinger, Nancy E. Adler, Frank C. Curriero, Jonathan M. Ellen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Adolescent females are frequently treated as a homogenous group but could differ on their sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk because of individual attitudes and exposure through sexual networks. Goal: The goal of this study was to determine if risk perceptions, condom use, and STD prevalence differs within sexual networks. Study Design: Three hundred three adolescent females participating in a longitudinal study of adolescent STD risk perceptions and condom use were categorized as "core," "bridge," and "periphery" in a sexual network according to their and their main sex partner's risk information. Regression analysis determined differences in risk perceptions by network location. Results: We demonstrated an inverse relationship between STD risk perceptions and network location. Adolescents with higher risk perceptions were more likely to use condoms, irrespective of network location. Conclusion: Female adolescents are a heterogeneous group exhibiting different risk perceptions. Different intervention strategies for adolescents at higher risk could be necessary. Interventions designed to raise risk perceptions could be associated with condom use, even for those adolescents at greatest risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-579
Number of pages5
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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