Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Socioeconomic Status and Self-reported Gonorrhea Among African American Female Adolescents

SIONÉAN, CATLAINN PhD*; DiCLEMENTE, RALPH J. PhD*;†‡§;; WINGOOD, GINA M. ScD, MPH*;§;; CROSBY, RICHARD PhD*; COBB, BRENDA K. PhD, RN;∥;; HARRINGTON, KATHY MPH, MAEd;¶;; DAVIES, SUSAN L. PhD, MPH¶; HOOK, EDWARD W. III MD;#; AND; OH, M. KIM MD**

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Abstract

Background: Socioeconomic status is often used to explain race differences in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), yet the independent association of socioeconomic status and STDs among adolescents has been understudied.

Objective: To examine the associations between socioeconomic status and self-reported gonorrhea among black female adolescents, after controlling for sexual risk behaviors.

Methods: Interviews and surveys were completed by 522 sexually active black adolescent females residing in low-income urban neighborhoods.

Results: Adolescents whose parents were unemployed were more than twice as likely to report a history of gonorrhea, compared with those with employed parents. Adolescents living with two parents were less likely to report a history of gonorrhea.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that gonorrhea is associated with low socioeconomic status among black adolescent females regardless of the level of sexual risk behaviors. Lower socioeconomic status may be an marker for risky sociosexual environments.

© Copyright 2001 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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