Dr. Villarreal’s doctoral dissertation abstract

DOCTORAL DISSERTATION ABSTRACT

LATINO WOMEN AT RISK FOR HIV:

CULTURE AND GENDER BASED IMPLICATIONS IN EVENT-LEVEL CONDOM USE

CHRISTINA VILLARREAL, Ph.D.

California School of Professional Psychology

San Francisco Bay Campus

Alliant International University

This study examined whether event-level variables such as Condom Availability, Communication, Sexual Relationship Status, Fear of Pregnancy, and Drug/Alcohol Use would predict condom use during Latino women’s last sexual event.  Further, this study examined if event-level variables could predict condom use in the presence of culturally relevant, longstanding psychosocial variables such as Condom Self-Efficacy, Sexual Comfort, Traditional Gender Role Beliefs, Fear of Sexual Coercion and Abuse, and Level of Acculturation.  Respondents were over 27 times more likely to use condoms at the last sexual event if they were physically available, over 6 times more likely if they communicated with their partner about condoms, over 4 times more likely when other forms of contraception were not being used, they desired pregnancy, or were not already pregnant, and over twice as likely when reporting higher Condom Self-Efficacy. A sample was collected in 1993 from 539 unmarried, sexually active women between the ages of 18-49 via a national, stratified telephone survey in the USA.  Logistic regression analyses revealed that event-level variables significantly predicted condom use, while psychosocial variables did not have the same direct relationship with condom use.  Participants with higher acculturation were significantly more likely to use condoms, report more condom availability, express higher Condom Self-Efficacy, Sexual Comfort, and describe their sexual relationship as ‘Steady, but Non-Live In’ or ‘Casual or New’.  Sexual Relationship Type, Participant Drug/Alcohol Use, and Partner Drug/Alcohol Use were not significantly related to condom use.  Participants with lower acculturation were significantly more likely to have Fear of Sexual Coercion and Abuse, and express more Traditional Gender Role Beliefs.  The influence of acculturation upon participants’ drug/alcohol use, their partners’ drug/alcohol use, and condom communication were not significantly related to condom use.  Acculturation appears to have both an immediate impact upon condom use and psychosocial variables, and indirectly contributes to event-level variables when they are regressed upon condom use together.  The study’s findings point to the robust influence of behaviorally-based variables upon condom use, when considered simultaneously with psychosocial variables associated with Latino women’s sexual behavior.

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