Title

Sensation Seeking and Risk-taking Propensity as Mediators in the Relationship between Childhood Abuse and HIV-related Risk Behavior

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2008

Keywords

Children abuse, HIV-related risk, Impulsivity, African-American adolescents

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.04.009

Abstract

Objectives

Although a wealth of literature suggests that childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are related to later-life HIV-related risk behaviors, few studies have explored disinhibition (e.g., impulsivity, risk-taking propensity, and sensation-seeking) as a risk factor in this relationship.

Method

This cross-sectional study examined impulsivity, risk-taking propensity, and sensation seeking as mediators in the relationship between abuse history and engagement in HIV-related risk behaviors among a sample of 96 inner-city African American adolescents.

Results

Findings indicated that abuse history was positively related to self-reported engagement in HIV-related risk behaviors (B = 0.027, SE 0.008, β = .32, sr2 = .105, p = .001), as well as risk-taking propensity (B = 0.35,SE 0.11, β = .30, sr2 = .090, p = .003) and sensation seeking (B = 0.17, SE 0.05, β = .35, sr2 = .124, p = .0004). Abuse history was not related to impulsivity. Further, while sensation-seeking and risk-taking propensity (to a lesser extent) mediated this relationship, impulsivity did not.

Conclusions

These findings provide an initial step in the examination of the mechanisms underlying the relationship between childhood abuse and engagement in HIV-related risk behaviors.

Comments

Child Abuse and Neglect, V. 32, Issue 1, P. 99-109.

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No