Assessing sexually transmitted infection risks of Puerto Rico graduate students
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health challenge for the United States and Puerto Rico. This study surveyed and examined the independent variables of sociodemographics, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and intention, versus the dependent variable of sexual risk behavior related to STIs among Puerto Rican freshman graduate students using the theory of planned behavior as framework. A survey was administered on a voluntary basis to all 179 incoming graduate students registered in a core course at a graduate school in PR in the Fall of 2011. The research questions investigated the degree to which attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and demographics relate to sexual risk in graduate students in PR and the degree to which intention related to sexual risk behavior of graduate students in PR predisposes them to STIs. Statistically significant differences were found between sexual risk behavior and attitude (p=0.015), subjective norm (p=0.044), age (p=0.013), gender (p=0.001), income (p=0.013), and number of STIs (p=0.000). However, there was no statistically significant difference between sexual risk behavior and intention, and sexual risk behavior and perceived behavioral control. The logistic regression model revealed that only perceived behavioral control, age, marital status, and income bore a statistically significant difference relative to sexual risk behavior. This study provides evidence of the need for innovative health education and prevention programs that are demographically and culturally targeted to specific populations. The effects of these changes in public policy will positively impact safe sex practices and access to preventive sexual healthcare.
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify the sexual risk behavior related to STIs among Puerto Rican freshman graduate students using the theory of planned behavior as framework.
Keyword(s): College Students, STD
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I did this research. I am the principal investigator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.