Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

Family Socioeconomic Status and Self-Reported Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among Black and White American Adolescents

Newbern, Elizabeth Claire PhD, MPH*; Miller, William C. MD, PhD, MPH*†; Schoenbach, Victor J. PhD*; Kaufman, Jay S. PhD*

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Objective: The objective of this study was to assess associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and adolescent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) stratified by race and gender.

Study: In cross-sectional analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health Wave One (1995), unadjusted and adjusted associations between 4 family SES indicators and STD reports for black and white 7th through 12th graders were examined.

Results: Lower maternal education and nonprofessional maternal occupations were associated with higher STD reports in all groups except white females. Generally, STD reports were higher for adolescents not living in 2-parent homes, and lower income was only associated for black males.

Conclusion: Overall, SES is only a weak to moderate marker for adolescent STD risks. The relationship of SES and STDs varies by the SES measure used and differs across race-gender groups. Other individual factors such as risk behaviors or community factors such as income inequality could play a more critical role for adolescent STDs than family SES.

© Copyright 2004 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association


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