The association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among African American women across three developmental periods: A review

Jessica M. Sales, Jennifer L. Brown, Aaron T. Vissman, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: African American women experience increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. The use of alcohol may increase sexual risk behaviors among this population. Purpose: This paper provides a review and critique of the literature examining the association etween alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among African American females including a: (a) synthesis of research findings from adolescent, college-aged/early adulthood, and adult samples; (b) methodological critique of the literature; and (c) guidance for future research. Methods: We reviewed 32 studies examining the association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among African American females across developmental periods. Results: Similar to previous association studies, results suggest that increased use of alcohol is associated with increased sexual risk practices among African American females. Further, even non-abuse levels of drinking among African American females, at all ages, were related to increased sexual risk-taking. Conclusions: Future studies should seek to recruit samples that more fully reflect the diversity of African American women's experiences across the lifespan. Given the association between alcohol use and/or abuse and the prevalence of STI/HIV-associated risk behaviors and adverse biological outcomes (i.e., STIs, including HIV) among African American females across the lifespan, there is a clear need to develop and evaluate prevention research efforts tailored for this subgroup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Drug Abuse Reviews
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • African American females
  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol use
  • Condom use
  • Sexual risk behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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