Posttraumatic stress, low academic performance, and future orientation as pathways from community violence exposure to sexual risk-taking behavior were examined among 753 African American youth in a large urban school district, ranging from ages of 13 to 24 years. Youth completed a self-report instrument. Youth completed a self-report instrument of Exposure to Violence Probe, University of California at Los Angeles’ PTSD Reaction Index Adolescent Version, and Coopersmith’s Self-Esteem Scale. Structural equation modeling was performed to examine relationships among the major study variables. Results indicated that community violence exposure was not directly associated with sexual risk behavior. However, community violence exposure had a significantly positive impact on posttraumatic stress, which was associated with low future orientation and sexual risk behavior. Findings suggest that targeted interventions need to consider variables that mediate the association between violence exposure and sexual risk behavior, which can reduce poor sexual health outcomes among urban youth who are exposed to violence in their community.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the Center for Health Administration Studies and the STI/HIV Intervention Network at the University of Chicago, which were awarded to Dr. Dexter R. Voisin. Dr. Jingu Kim also received funding from KU Research Professor Program at Konkuk University to participate in this study.
© 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- African American
- community violence
- future orientation
- sexual risk