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HIV Latino youth risk-reduction behavior



  1. Villarruel, Antonia M.
  2. Jemmott, John B. III
  3. Jemmott, Loretta S.
  4. Ronis, David L.


Background: Spanish-dominant Latino youth represent a growing yet underserved segment of the U.S. population, especially in terms of protection from sexually transmitted HIV infection. There is evidence to suggest that this subgroup engages in both risk and protective behaviors that may be different from the behaviors of English-dominant Latino youth.


Objective: To examine theoretical predictors (attitude, subjective norm, behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs, control beliefs) of sexual intercourse and condom use with a sample of Spanish-dominant Latino youth.


Methods: Participants in this study were part of a larger randomized controlled intervention designed to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV among Latino youth. This article is based on preintervention data from 141 Spanish-speaking Latino adolescents (77 girls and 64 boys) who completed a Spanish version of the questionnaire.


Results: Multiple regression analyses showed significant effects of attitudes, perceived partner approval, self-pride, and parental pride on intentions to engage in sexual intercourse. Attitudes, intentions to engage in sex in the next 3 months, self-pride, parental pride, goals, and partner approval predicted sexual intercourse in the preceding 3 months. Attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, partner and parental approval, and impulse control beliefs were significant predictors of intentions to use condoms.


Conclusions: This study represents initial efforts to address the needs of Spanish-dominant Latino youth. The identification of salient beliefs that may predict sexual risk and protective behavior are relevant to the design of culturally and linguistically effective interventions.