A Longitudinal Study of Sexual Risk Behavior Among the Adolescent Children of HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Drug-Abusing Fathers

David W. Brook, Judith S. Brook, Elizabeth Rubenstone, Chenshu Zhang, Stephen J. Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This is a longitudinal study of the precursors of sexual risk behavior among a cohort of adolescent children of HIV-positive and HIV-negative drug-abusing or drug-dependent fathers. Methods: Individual structured interviews were administered to 296 drug-abusing or drug-dependent fathers, 43% of whom were HIV positive, and an adolescent child of each father (mean age = 16.3 years; SD = 2.8). Adolescents were reinterviewed approximately 1 year later, at Time 2. Results: Structural equation modeling showed multiple direct and indirect pathways from psychosocial factors to adolescent sexual risk behavior (sexually active, number of sexual partners, and frequency of condom use). Greater paternal drug addiction and infection with HIV/AIDS, and the youth's perception of environmental hostility (discrimination and victimization), were both related to increased adolescent maladjustment and substance use. Greater paternal drug addiction and infection with HIV/AIDS also were associated with a weaker father-child mutual attachment, which was linked with increased adolescent maladjustment and substance use. Greater perceived environmental hostility (discrimination and victimization), a weak father-child relationship, and greater adolescent maladjustment and substance use had direct pathways to adolescent sexual risk behavior. Conclusions: Findings suggest complex interrelationships among paternal, environmental, social, personal, and substance use factors as longitudinal predictors of sexual risk behavior in children whose fathers abuse or are dependent upon drugs. The importance of perceived environmental hostility, the father-child relationship, and adolescent maladjustment and substance use may have implications for public policy as well as prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent sexual risk behavior
  • Discrimination and victimization
  • Father-child attachment
  • HIV-affected children
  • Paternal drug abuse
  • Paternal HIV/AIDS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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