Understanding Sexual Abstinence in Urban Adolescent Girls

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor; Department Chair (Parent & Child Nursing) (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Objectives- To gain insight into the context of sexual abstinence and identify potential determinants of abstinence in this population. Design- Four focus groups. Participants and Setting- Twenty-four, predominantly African American (88%) girls aged 14 to 19 years were recruited from urban health centers and youth development programs in Rochester, New York, between September and December 2006. Data Analysis- Content analysis was used to analyze the four verbatim transcripts. Using analytic induction, groups were compared and contrasted at the micro (within-group) and macro (between-group) levels to identify themes. Results- Four themes were identified that provided insight into how and why these girls remain abstinent despite being in sexually active social climates. They focused on the following: self-respect (I’m worth it), impact of mothers (Mama says … think before you let it go), influence of boys and other peers (Boys will be boys), and potential negative consequences of sex (Hold on, there’s a catch). Conclusions- Developing interventions to maintain abstinence, delay onset of sexual activity, and promote protected first and subsequent sexual contact in abstinent girls are key to decreasing future sexual risk. These findings suggest opportunities to develop HIV prevention strategies tailored to the needs of abstinent girls.

Additional Information

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 37, 185-195
Language: English
Date: 2008
abstinence, HIV, adolescent girls, focus groups

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