Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS

Committee Member

Katherine Eddens, PhD

Committee Member

Angela Carman, DrPH

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between interpersonal partner violence (IPV), HIV risks, and depression among a sample of adolescent females who have sex with men and women.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). YRBSS data was obtained from representative samples of students in grades 9-12. The study sample was comprised of adolescent and young women who self-identified as having sex with men and women (WSMW)(N=526). The primary exposure was sexual behavior (having sexual intercourse with both male and female partners). The primary outcomes were intimate partner violence, HIV-related risks (i.e., being sexually active, early sexual debut, multiple sexual partners, sex while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, sex without a condom). Depression was examined as a moderator. Chi-square analysis was used to examine these categorical variables.

Results: An association between IPV, HIV-related risks, and depression for adolescent and young WSMW was detected. The study revealed significant relationships between IPV and sexual activity, early sexual debut, being currently sexually active, using alcohol and/or drugs before sex, and no use of condoms during sex. Depression appeared to be associated with IPV and some HIV-related risk behavior, such as, sexual activity, sexual debut, and use of alcohol and/or drugs at last act of sexual intercourse.

Conclusion: Considering the association between IPV, HIV-related risks, and depression, interventions that encourage sensitive and appropriate care to adolescent and young WSMW youth within schools, health service systems, and community agencies is essential.

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