African American adolescents; HIV/AIDS; self-efficacy; self-concept; gender; prevention


Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Gender and Sexuality | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Health Communication | Health Psychology | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity | Women's Health


Background: African American adolescents accounted for more than half of all HIV/AIDS cases in 2009. Behavioral Strategies are needed to help lessen the incidence of HIV/AIDS among this population.

Purpose: The aim of his study was to examine sexual self-efficacy practices and beliefs among African American adolescents. We also examined gender differences between African American adolescents to better understand their perceptions of sexual self-efficacy, condom use intention, and other safer sex practices and beliefs.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 214 African American adolescents using survey instruments to examine their beliefs, perception and intentions on the use of condoms, sexual self-efficacy and safe sex practices. Participants were recruited though a mass media campaign and local youth serving organizations within Sedgwick County, KS.

Results: Our findings indicate significant differences exist between genders in perception of sexual self-efficacy among African American adolescents. Females were found to have higher perceived sexual self-efficacy compared to males. Having high negotiation skills and a sexual partner who approved of condom use were significant predictors for high perceived sexual self-efficacy.

Conclusions: African American adolescent females were more likely to have higher perceived sexual self-efficacy then African American male adolescents. Because of the dynamics that exist in male and female relationships and the mediating role sexual self-efficacy might play in engaging in safe sex practices, it is important to design gender specific interventions in order to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDS/STI’s.