Purpose: Perceived partner concurrency, reporting that a current sexual partner has other sexual partners, may pose sexual health risks to adolescents. We examined the contextual characteristics of African American female adolescents who reported their current boyfriend was having concurrent sexual relationships. Methods: Participants were African American adolescent females (N = 511; mean age = 17.6) recruited from sexual health clinics. Before participating in an STD/HIV prevention trial, the participants completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews with measures of perceived partner concurrency and individual- (e.g., depression, substance use), interpersonal- (e.g., social support, interpersonal stress), and community-level factors (i.e., neighborhood quality). Results: Twenty-seven percent of participants reported their belief that their current boyfriend had concurrent sexual partners during their relationship. In a logistic regression analysis, participants endorsing perceived partner concurrency reported less relational power (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] =.89.98, p <.01), decreased relationship commitment (AOR =.88, 95% CI =.80.96, p <.01), elevated perceived interpersonal stress (AOR = 1.02, 95% CI = 1.0031.04, p <.05), and previous STD diagnoses (AOR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.313.28, p <.01; overall model: χ 2 = 67.25; p <.001). Conclusions: Results suggest that the efficacy of sexual risk reduction interventions may be improved by emphasizing the increased HIV/STD risks associated with having a boyfriend with concurrent sex partners. In addition, interventions may benefit from incorporating stress management training and addressing key relationship dynamics, particularly among adolescents with a history of STDs.
- African American adolescent females
- Perceived partner concurrency
- Sexual networks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health