Sensation Seeking and Risk-taking Propensity as Mediators in the Relationship between Childhood Abuse and HIV-related Risk Behavior
Children abuse, HIV-related risk, Impulsivity, African-American adolescents
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Scholar Commons Citation
Bornovalova, M. A., Gwadz, M. A., Kahler, C., Aklin, W. M., & Lejuez, C. W. (2008). Sensation seeking and risk-taking propensity as mediators in the relationship between childhood abuse and HIV-related risk behavior. Child abuse & neglect, 32(1), 99-109.