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SAGE Publications

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Journal of Transcultural Nursing

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Introduction: African American (AA) high school-age girls are more likely to have had sex before age 13 years and have higher rates of all sexually transmitted infections. Cognition and religion/spirituality are associated with adolescent sexuality, therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify cognitive and religious substrates of AA girls’ risky sexual behaviors. Method: A descriptive study was conducted with 65 AA girls aged 15 to 20 years using computerized questionnaires and cognitive function tasks. Results: Average age was 17.8 ± 1.9 years and average sexual initiation age was 15.5 ± 2.6 years. Overall, 57.6% reported a history of vaginal sex. Girls who reported low/moderate religious importance were significantly younger at vaginal sex initiation than girls for whom religion was very/extremely important. Girls who attended church infrequently reported significantly more sexual partners. Implications: Health care providers can use these findings to deliver culturally congruent health care by assessing and addressing these psychosocial factors in this population.


Accepted version. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, Vol. 29, No. 1 (January 1, 2018): 74-83. DOI. © 2018 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

Dora Clayton-Jones was affiliated with University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee at the time of publication.

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