An Exploration Using the Neuman Systems Model of Risky Sexual Behaviors among African American College Students: A Brief Report

By Lyttle, Darylnet; Montgomery, Arlene J. et al. | Journal of Cultural Diversity, Winter 2018 | Go to article overview

An Exploration Using the Neuman Systems Model of Risky Sexual Behaviors among African American College Students: A Brief Report


Lyttle, Darylnet, Montgomery, Arlene J., Davis, Bertha L., Burns, Dorothy, McGee, Zina T., Fogel, Joshua, Journal of Cultural Diversity


INTRODUCTION

he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that among persons between the ages of 15 and 24 that there are 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases annually, and half of these infections are among people ages 15 to 24 (CDC, 2017a). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a sexually transmitted disease that disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged young African Americans (AA). Almost half of the new infections occur among AA males. The prevention challenges that face our country in addressing HIV include inadequate sex education, high rates of risk behaviors, high rates of sexually transmitted infection, and the stigma of HIV (CDC, 2017b).

The theoretical framework for this study is the Neuman Systems Model (NSM). The NSM postulates that client systems variables of physiological, psychological, sociocultural, developmental, and spiritual are impacted by stressors. The NSM has been studied with caregiving for the elderly, patients with terminal illness such as end stage kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and smoking behaviors (Neuman & Fawcett, 2011). There does not appear to be any research using the NSM for understanding risky sexual behaviors among African American (AA) college students.

Physiological variables are associated with risky sexual behavior, as a study of college students found that participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity was associated with greater participation in risky sexual behavior of having multiple sexual partners (Dinger, Brittain, & Hutchinson, 2014). Psychological variables are associated with risky sexual behavior, as a study of college students found that the model father psychological presence during adolescence was associated with increased male sexual risk taking of having a greater number of sexual partners and decreased use of birth control before sexual activity (Rostad, Silverman, & McDonald, 2014). Sociocultural variables are associated with risky sexual behavior, as a study of AA male young adults found that lower socioeconomic status was associated with decreased condom use when engaging in sexual activity (Reed et al., 2015). Developmental variables are associated with risky sexual behavior, as college student condom use before sexual activity declined between freshman and sophomore years before stabilizing in the sophomore year (Bearak, 2014). Risky sexual behavior is associated with spirituality/ religiosity, as a study of college students found for females that higher level of attendance to religious service was associated with greater condom use with vaginal sex (Luquis, Breisford, & Rojas-Guyler, 2012).

Stressors and management of stressors are associated with risky sexual behavior. A study of adolescent girls found that greater intrapersonal skills was associated with lesser number of male sexual partners, greater interpersonal skills was associated with earlier communication with sexual partners regarding risk of pregnancy, and greater stress management skills was associated with increased consistency of condom use before sexual activity (LandoKing et al., 2015). Peer and family influences can impact stress and stress management. Increased interpersonal stressors are associated with risky sexual behaviors, as a study of college students found that greater peer influence was associated with lesser use of condoms (Lewis, Patrick, Mittmann, & Kaysen, 2014)

This study has two aims. First, we describe the risky sexual behaviors of AA college students. Second, we study the relationship of the NSM client system variables and stressors to determine their association with AA college students' participation in the risky sexual behavior of vaginal sex without using a condom.

METHODS

Setting

The study sample consisted of a convenience sample of AA college students attending a historically black college and university in southeastern Virginia. …

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