Adolescent risk for hiv infection: Comparison of four high risk samples

Janet S. St.Lawrence, Richard A. Crosby, Robert O'Bannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Adolescents (N= 482) at elevated risk for sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, were assessed on theoretically-derived measures of knowledge and attitudes toward precautionary behavior, frequencies of high risk sexual and substance use behaviors, and other psychosocial factors implicated in adolescents' risky behavior such as impulsivity, risk-taking propensity, and social support. The adolescent samples included drug-dependent adolescents (n = 77), incarcerated youth (n = 194), homeless and runaway youth (n= 55), and urban African-American adolescents (n= 156). Drug-dependent and incarcerated youth evidenced exceedingly high HIV-risk and less favorable psychosocial profiles, with drug-dependent females reporting the highest levels of overall risk. Youth in homeless shelters were lower in HIV-risk and had more favorable psychosocial profiles than drug-dependent and incarcerated youth and were slightly higher on these measures than African-American youth sampled from the community. Gender differences varied by sample. Findings suggest that HTV prevention programs for high-risk youth should be tailored according to gender and the specific type of high-risk audience involved. Implications of the findings for tailoring risk reduction interventions for each group of at-risk adolescents are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-86
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education for Adolescents and Children
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 4 2000


  • Drug-dependent youth
  • HIV risk-behavior
  • Homeless youth
  • Incarcerated youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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