Factors related to risky sexual behaviors and effective STI/HIV and pregnancy intervention programs for African American adolescents

Public Health Nurs. 2014 Sep-Oct;31(5):414-27. doi: 10.1111/phn.12128. Epub 2014 May 22.


Objective: The purpose of this integrative literature review study was to investigate factors related to risky sexual behaviors among African American adolescents, to evaluate which of the factors are common across successful and effective STI/HIV and pregnancy intervention programs, and finally, to propose suggestions for future intervention programs for African American adolescents in West Englewood, Chicago.

Design: An integrative literature review was conducted. Using CINAHL, PubMed, and ProQuest database, the following terms were searched: African American, Black, adolescents, teenagers, sexual behavior, cultural factors, pregnancy, STIs/HIV/AIDS, and intervention programs.

Result: A total of 18 articles were reviewed, findings indicated there were five major contributing factors related to risky sexual behaviors: substance use, gender roles, peer influences, parental involvement, and level of knowledge and information on sex and STIs. Six successful STI/HIV and pregnancy programs that incorporated those factors to effectively reduce risky sexual behaviors were identified.

Conclusion: After analyzing six national intervention programs proven to be effective, the findings suggest that future prevention programs should be designed with more emphasis on avoidance or limited substance use, increased parental involvement, integration of cultural teaching components such as storytelling and history as suggested from the Aban Aya Youth Project. This study also concluded that future prevention programs should consider the length of programs be longer than 1 year, as it has been shown to be more effective than shorter programs.

Keywords: African American adolescents; intervention programs; pregnancy; sexually transmitted infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology*
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Chicago
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / ethnology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / ethnology*
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior / ethnology*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / ethnology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control