Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
International Research Scholar Award
Household Family Structure and the Male Adolescent Risk of HIV in Rakai, Uganda
There is need for research to provide an understanding of the family’s role in male adolescent risk behaviors in the sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Pilgrim’s previous work explored associations between family structure and female adolescent’s sexual vulnerability to HIV in Rakai, Uganda; female adolescents living with single mothers were significantly less likely to experience sexual coercion while those living in stepfather households were more likely to experience sexual coercion, early sexual debut and have multiple sexual partners.44-46 The presence of biological fathers was generally associated with lower risk behaviors. The current proposal extends this work to assess the association between family structure and male adolescents’ HIV risk behaviors and use of HIV preventative services. This investigation is critical because research have shown that the family environment, especially structure, differentially influences male and female adolescents’ behaviors.47,48 Moreover, the objective of the subsequent K01 proposal is to understand how family interactions, processes (e.g. family communication), and functioning influence adolescent HIV risk by observing and interviewing families from family structures associated with low and high risk adolescent behavior. These structures have been identified for female adolescents; this CFAR analyses will allow for the identification of structures for male adolescents.