Sexual Risk Behaviors in Juvenile Female Offenders (Pilot Study)

A Secondary Analysis of Project SHARP Data 

Principal Investigator: Alyssa Robillard

Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, center grant award P20 MD002316 NIMHD (2009-2010)

This study focused on an understudied population at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases: female youth in detention. Project SHARP was designed to reduce risky sexual behaviors, drug use, and delinquency through a theory driven facility-based intervention. The specific aim for this pilot study was to identify risk and protective factors associated with sexual risk behavior that are particularly salient for juvenile female offenders compared to juvenile male offenders. Variables such as HIV/AIDS knowledge, condom beliefs, condom self-efficacy, substance use and abuse were examined. The sample consisted of 2280 adolescent detainees ages 11-18, 58% female and 57% African American. The intervention was delivered to adolescents while they were housed in Youth Development Campuses operated by the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Lopez, V., Kopak, A., Robillard, A., Gillmore, M. R., Holliday, R. C., & Braithwaite, R. L. (2011). Pathways to sexual risk taking among female adolescent detainees. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 945-950. doi: 10.1007/s10964-010-9623-5.  Read full article PMCID: PMC3209805