Black College Women’s Interpersonal Communication in Response to a Sexual Health Intervention: A Mixed Methods Study

Diane B. Francis, Carina M. Zelaya, Deborah A. Fortune, Seth M. Noar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We investigated interpersonal communication generated from a successful sexual health intervention for Black college women attending a Historically Black College/University (HBCU). Guided by the integrative model of behavioral prediction and the theory of gender and power, the intervention combined point-of-access health messages with condom distribution via condom dispensers. Using a mixed-methods approach, we examined communication partners, content, mode, valence, and perceived impact. Data were gathered from surveys (N = 105) and interviews (n = 10) with young adult women at an HBCU campus, conducted three months after the intervention. The findings revealed that 43% of women engaged in interpersonal communication and 21% engaged in online interactions about the dispensers. Friends were the most common conversation partners, and the conversations were mainly about condoms and the dispensers themselves. In general, the discussions were positive, showing support for the dispensers. Regression analyses revealed positive, significant associations between interpersonal communication and two key outcomes: condom acceptability and condom intentions. Overall, this study adds to research linking health communication interventions to interpersonal communication and subsequent attitudes and beliefs. Health communication interventions should actively encourage young Black women to share health-promoting information within their social networks to extend both the reach and impact of those interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by a 2014 developmental grant from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), an NIH funded program [grant number P30 AI50410]. The authors wish to thank the study participants, research assistants, and Erica McDonald-Finch and her staff who made this research possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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