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01-01-2013 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 1/2013

A Qualitative Exploration of Rural African American Youth Perceptions about the Effect of Dating Violence on Sexual Health

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 1/2013
Tanya A. Montoya, Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah, Eugenia Eng, Mysha R. Wynn, Tiffany G. Townsend


Adolescent dating violence (ADV) remains a significant concern, particularly among rural African Americans. Few studies have explored adolescents’ perceptions about the link between ADV and sexual health and none have targeted this population. Employing qualitative methods based in Community-Based Participatory Research and theory, this study explored rural African American adolescents’ knowledge, perceptions and beliefs about the impact of ADV on sexual health. Secondary data analysis of 20 semi-structured individual interviews, conducted with older adolescents (aged 18–21), revealed participants understood the link between ADV and sexual health consequences, specifically as it related to STI and HIV prevention, condom use, and refusal of sex; and the negative impact refusing sex, communicating about HIV and other STI prevention, and negotiating condom use can have on ADV. This included: (a) negative relationship outcomes, including ADV and fear; and (b) factors that impact one’s ability to refuse sex, communicate about HIV and STI prevention, and negotiate condom use. Findings underscore the need for comprehensive ADV prevention programs for rural African Americans.

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