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Activity of African-American female teenagers in black organisations is associated with STD/HIV protective behaviours: a prospective analysis
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  1. R A Crosby1,
  2. R J DiClemente1,
  3. G M Wingood1,
  4. K Harrington2,
  5. S Davies3,
  6. M K Oh2
  1. 1Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Atlanta, USA
  2. 2School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA
  3. 3School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr R A Crosby, Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, 1518 Clifton Road, NE. Fifth Floor, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA;
 rcrosby{at}sph.emory.edu

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The African-American adolescent female population is disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted disease (STD) and the HIV epidemic in the United States.1,2 Like other adolescents, African-Americans also have a high rate of teenage pregnancy. One important, yet understudied, protective influence that could reduce African-American adolescents' sexual risk behaviour may be their involvement in community organisations. A recent study of low income minority adolescents found that pro-social activities mediated the relation between family structure and sexual risk behaviour. Pro-social activities also mediated an observed relation between family class position and sexual risk behaviour.3 In addition, participation in boys and girls clubs has been associated with positive adolescent health outcomes and youth development, for example, less substance misuse and increased parental involvement.4 Similarly, more recent evidence suggests that participation in school based extracurricular activities may be a protective factor reducing the risk of adolescent substance misuse.5

These initial studies suggest that more intensive investigation of potential associations between adolescent participation in community organisations and sexual risk behaviour is warranted. African-American adolescent female populations constitute an important starting point for these investigations. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between high risk African-American adolescent females' membership in community organisations and their recent sexual risk …

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