African-American adolescents residing in high-risk urban environments do use condoms: Correlates and predictors of condom use among adolescents in public housing developments

Ralph J. DiClemente, Mark Lodico, Olga A. Grinstead, Gary Harper, Richard L. Rickman, Patricia E. Evans, Thomas J. Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. African-American adolescents living in high-risk inner-city environments have been disproportionately affected by the epidemics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases. Understanding the factors that influence the use of condoms by adolescents is critical for developing effective behavioral interventions. The present study examined the demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral correlates of condom use among African-American adolescents residing in public housing developments in an HIV epicenter (San Francisco) and prospectively evaluated the stability of these significant cross-sectional variables to predict consistent condom use. Design.A prospective study. Setting. Two public housing developments in San Francisco. Participants. African-American adolescents and young adults between 12 and 21 years of age were recruited though street outreach and completed a theoretically derived research interview assessing HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. After a 6-month period, adolescents completed a follow-up interview similar to the baseline measure. Among adolescents reporting sexual activity in the 6 months before completing the baseline interview (n = 116), logistic regression analysis evaluated the influence of demographic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors on consistent condom use. Results. Adolescents who had high assertive self-efficacy to demand condom use (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 11), perceived peer norms as supporting condom use (OR, 4.2), had greater impulse control (OR, 3.7), were male (OR, 4.7), and were younger (OR, 2.9) were more likely to report consistent condom use. Frequency of sexual intercourse was inversely related to condom use; adolescents with higher numbers of sexual episodes were less likely to use condoms consistently. Prospective analyses identified the baseline level of condom use as the best predictor of condom use at the 6-month follow-up. Adolescents who were consistent condom users at baseline were 7.4 times as likely to be consistent condom users during the follow-up period. Of those adolescents changing their frequency of condom use during the follow-up interval, significantly more engaged in risky behavior; 33.3% changed from consistent to inconsistent condom use, whereas 20.6% changed from inconsistent to consistent use (OR, 1.6). Conclusions. The findings suggest that HIV prevention programs need to be implemented early, before high-risk behaviors are established and may be more difficult to modify.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • African-American adolescents
  • condom use
  • human immunodeficiency virus
  • risk behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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