Substance Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among American Indian and Alaska Native High School Students

Authors

  • Lori de Ravello MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Public Health Advisor, (leb8@cdc.gov), Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, MS F-74, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717.
    • Address correspondence to: Lori de Ravello, Public Health Advisor, (leb8@cdc.gov), Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, MS K22, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717.

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  • Sherry Everett Jones PhD, MPH, JD, FASHA,

    1. Health Scientist, (sce2@cdc.gov), Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, MS F-74, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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  • Scott Tulloch BS,

    1. Public Health Advisor, (sdt2@cdc.gov), Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-E02, Atlanta, GA 30333.
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  • Melanie Taylor MD, MPH,

    1. Medical Epidemiologist, (mdt7@cdc.gov), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-E02, Atlanta, GA 30333.
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  • Sonal Doshi MS, MPH

    1. Health Scientist, (srd5@cdc.gov), Office of State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, MS-E70, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

We describe the prevalence of behaviors that put American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) high school students at risk for teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the relationships among race/ethnicity and these behaviors.

METHODS

We analyzed merged 2007 and 2009 data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a biennial, self-administered, school-based survey of US students in grades 9-12 (N = 27,912). Prevalence estimates and logistic regression, controlling for sex and grade, were used to examine the associations between race/ethnicity, and substance use, and sexual risk behaviors.

RESULTS

Of the 26 variables studied, the adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were higher among AI/AN than White students for 18 variables (ranging from 1.4 to 2.3), higher among AI/AN than Black students for 13 variables (ranging from 1.4 to 4.2), and higher among AI/AN than Hispanic students for 5 variables (ranging from 1.4 to 1.5). Odds were lower among AI/AN than Black students for many of the sexual risk-related behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS

The data suggest it is necessary to develop targeted, adolescent-specific interventions aimed at reducing behaviors that put AI/AN high school students at risk for teen pregnancy, STI/HIV, and other health conditions.

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