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Longitudinal pathways from unconventional personal attributes in the late 20s to cannabis use prior to sexual intercourse in the late 30s.

Longitudinal pathways from unconventional personal attributes in the late 20s to cannabis use prior to sexual intercourse in the late 30s.
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Lee JY, Brook JS, Pahl K, Brook DW,


Lee JY, Brook JS, Pahl K, Brook DW, (click to view)

Lee JY, Brook JS, Pahl K, Brook DW,

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Addictive behaviors 2017 05 2474() 148-152 pii 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.05.027

Abstract

A quarter of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States are women. Furthermore, African American and Hispanic/Latina women continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities. Cannabis use prior to intercourse may be associated with increased risky sexual behaviors which are highly related to HIV. The ultimate goal of this research is to better understand the relationships between unconventional personal attributes (e.g., risk-taking behaviors) in the late 20s, substance use (e.g., alcohol) in the mid 30s, and cannabis use prior to intercourse in the late 30s using a community sample; such an understanding may inform interventions. This study employing data from the Harlem Longitudinal Development Study includes 343 female participants (50% African Americans, 50% Puerto Ricans). Structural equation modeling indicated that unconventional personal attributes in the late 20s were associated with substance use in the mid 30s (β=0.32, p<0.001), which in turn, was associated with cannabis use prior to sexual intercourse in the late 30s (β=0.64, p<0.001). Unconventional personal attributes in the late 20s were also directly related to cannabis use prior to sexual intercourse in the late 30s (β=0.39, p<0.01). The findings of this study suggest that interventions focused on decreasing unconventional personal attributes as well as substance use may reduce sexual risk behaviors among urban African American and Puerto Rican women. Also, the implications of this study for health care providers and researchers working in HIV prevention are that these precursors may be useful as patient screening tools.

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