Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



Social Work and Public Health

First Advisor

Hattie M. Mitchell


This study examines psychosocial factors that contribute to risky sexual behavior among African-American adolescent females. AIDS is one of the most deadly diseases affecting the world today and is the number one killer of African-American women between the ages of 18 and 24. HIV/AIDS prevention education has been the major outreach tool used to combat the spread of this disease. However, prevention education does not seem to be impacting this population significantly, which leaves many searching for other answers for outreach. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the impact of HIV/AIDS prevention on persons participating in risky sexual behavior and also to determine the role of self-esteem and spirituality as major factors contributing to the sexual decision-making process of this high risk population. A sample of 30 African-American female adolescents between the ages of 12 and 20 were recruited from an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lithonia, Georgia. Each participant completed a questionnaire regarding their HIV/AIDS education level, their spirituality, and their level of self esteem. The data collected via the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive, as well as cross tabulation analysis. While the findings did not show a significant relationship between spirituality and self-esteem, there was evidence of a relationship between HIV knowledge and risky sexual behavior.

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