Relationships of sexual imposition, dyadic trust, and sensation seeking with sexual risk behavior in young Urban women


  • The author gratefully acknowledges Seth Kalichman, PhD, Professor, University of Connecticut; Susan Rogers, PhD, Research Demographer, Research Triangle Institute; Ezra Susser, MD, DrPH, Chair, Division of Epidemiology, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; Lydia O'Donnell, PhD, Education Development Center, Inc.; Sonya Baker, PhD, RN; and Deanna V. Johnson, MS, RN, CS, for their review of the instruments and instructions on the ACASI used in this study. Special thanks to Dr. John Phillips, Professor Emeritus, New York University, Division of Nursing, for his mentorship; to the undergraduate students at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, College of Nursing, who assisted with data collection; to the directors at WIC, STD, and public housing, and to the women who shared their stories as participants in this research.


This study was designed to examine the relationships of sexual imposition, dyadic trust, and sensation seeking with HIV sexual risk behavior in 257 young urban women. Interviews were conducted using Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI). Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that sexual imposition, dyadic trust, and sensation seeking explained 18.3% of the variance in sexual risk behavior. Although sexual imposition was positively related to sexual risk, pressure to satisfy a male partner sexually was more common than physical coercion. Dyadic trust was negatively related, indicating that women engaged in sexual risk behavior with men they distrusted. Sensation seeking was positively related to sexual risk. Findings suggest the need for enhancing awareness of non–sexually imposing relationship alternatives and incorporating thrill and excitement in health promotion messages. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:185–197, 2004