Acculturation, Sexual Risk Taking, and HIV Health Promotion among Latinas

Michael D. Newcomb, Gloria J. Romero, Heidi A. Wayment, Gail E. Wyatt, M. Belinda Tucker, Jennifer Vargas Carmona, Beatriz Solis, Claudia Mitchell-Kernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Latinas are nearly 3 times more likely to acquire AIDS than other women in the United States. It is critical to understand this vulnerability and to identify predictors of risk. Structural equation models were used to test predictors, mediators (including components of the health belief model), and sex-related outcomes and behavior. Interview data were collected from a random, cross-sectional community sample of 227 sexually active Latinas (M age = 32 years). Acculturation was associated with higher HIV-related risks within primary relationships. Older Latinas were less likely than younger Latinas to make behavior changes or use barrier methods of contraception to prevent HIV, and they had higher rates of unintended pregnancies. Marriage was related to greater relationship risk and less behavior change. Theoretical models must account for ethnicity, race, and culture to understand better unwanted sexual outcomes for Latinas, including HIV risks. Strategies are needed that specifically address these issues in HIV prevention and counseling programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-467
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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