This is part of an ongoing larger scale project titled “AIDS Prevention Among Minority Adolescents,” funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Grant #HD-30638. Preparation for this article was also supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (DA-07024). Principal investigator for these projects is Richard I. Evans.
Dispositionai Optimism as a Protective Factor in Resisting HIV Exposure in Sexually Active Inner-City Minority Adolescents1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 28, Issue 23, pages 2196–2211, December 1998
How to Cite
Carvajal, S. C., Garner, R. L. and Evans, R. I. (1998), Dispositionai Optimism as a Protective Factor in Resisting HIV Exposure in Sexually Active Inner-City Minority Adolescents. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28: 2196–2211. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01367.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Recent investigations have explored dispositional optimism as a determinant of various health-related behaviors, though such research has been infrequently conducted in populations where pessimism would be expected to be prevalent. The present study examines optimism and unsafe sexual behavior in 230 sexually active inner-city minority adolescents. Findings suggest that dispositional optimism is a protective factor regarding adolescents' intentions to avoid engaging in unsafe sex. Further, the benefits of optimism appear to be explained by those who are more optimistic having higher levels of perceived condom use self-efficacy and stronger negative expectancies toward unsafe sex. Future interventions may need to address optimism in concert with behavioral-specific determinants to increase the probability of reducing unsafe sexual behavior in high-risk populations.