Latent Profile Patterns of Network-Level Norms and Associations with Individual-Level Sexual Behaviors: The N2 Cohort Study in Chicago

Cho Hee Shrader, Dustin T. Duncan, Yen Tyng Chen, Redd Driver, Jonathan Russell, Raymond L. Moody, Justin Knox, Britt Skaathun, Mainza Durrell, Hillary Hanson, Rebecca Eavou, William C. Goedel, John A. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individual-level behavior can be influenced by injunctive and descriptive social network norms surrounding that behavior. There is a need to understand how the influence of social norms within an individual’s social networks may influence individual-level sexual behavior. We aimed to typologize the network-level norms of sexual behaviors within the social networks of Black sexual and gender minoritized groups (SGM) assigned male at birth. Survey data were collected in Chicago, Illinois, USA, between 2018 and 2019 from Black SGM. A total of 371 participants provided individual-level information about sociodemographic characteristics and HIV vulnerability from sex (i.e., condomless sex, group sex, use of alcohol/drugs to enhance sex) and completed an egocentric network inventory assessing perceptions of their social network members’ (alters’) injunctive and descriptive norms surrounding sexual behaviors with increased HIV vulnerability. We used Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) to identify network-level norms based on the proportion of alters’ approval of the participant engaging in condomless sex, group sex, and use of drugs to enhance sex (i.e., injunctive norms) and alters’ engagement in these behaviors (i.e., descriptive norms). We then used binomial regression analyses to examine associations between network-level norm profiles and individual-level HIV vulnerability from sex. The results of our LPA indicated that our sample experienced five distinct latent profiles of network-level norms: (1) low HIV vulnerability network norm, (2) moderately high HIV vulnerability network norm, (3) high HIV vulnerability network norm, (4) condomless sex dominant network norm, and (5) approval of drug use during sex dominant network norm. Condomless anal sex, group sex, and using drugs to enhance sex were positively and significantly associated with higher HIV vulnerability social network norm profiles, relative to low HIV vulnerability norm profiles. To mitigate Black SGM’s HIV vulnerability, future HIV risk reduction strategies can consider using network-level intervention approaches such as opinion leaders, segmentation, induction, or alteration, through an intersectionality framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2355-2372
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • HIV
  • Latent class analysis
  • Minority health disparities
  • Sexual and gender minorities
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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