Date of Award

5-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Social Work

Major Professor

John Wodarski

Committee Members

William Nugent, Samuel MacMaster, Deborah Welsh

Abstract

The primary purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the relationship between certain factors associated with the Theory of Gender and Power including: sexual relationships, condom use self-efficacy, substance use, and perceived risk to HIV/AIDS risk behaviors among young Black college women. It provides an intellectual context for empirically-based and theory-supported interventions geared toward this population. African American women are disproportionately burdened by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Statistics show that African American women account for 64% of all HIV/AIDS cases reported in 2005 compared to White women at 19% and Hispanic women at 15% (CDC, 2005). Typically, the majority of HIV/AIDS research focuses on prevention for lowincome, substance abusing minority women, adolescents, and men who have sex with men (MSM), while young Black college women are ignored as a risk group. Though this group does not have some of the common risk factors commonly associated with HIV such as poverty, injection drug use, or low levels of education, they still engage in behaviors that place them at risk for contracting HIV. This study consisted of convenience sample of 189 young Black women from Clark Atlanta University between the ages of 18 and 24. Participants were recruited through various campus student organizations. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to test each research hypothesis. Results indicated that type(s) of sexual relationship was the strongest predictor of condom use among young Black college women and accounted for 2.5% of the variance in their condom use. HIV/AIDS knowledge, condom use self-efficacy, substance use nor HIV/AIDS perceived risk predicted this sample’s condom use.

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