This study examined relationships between substance use patterns and problems and sexual health outcomes among low-income, urban, African-American female adolescents with a history of seeking mental health services.Participants were recruited from outpatient mental health clinics serving urban, primarily low-income youth and families in Chicago, Illinois, as part of a 2-year, longitudinal investigation of HIV risk behavior during which they completed interviews every 6 months (five time points). Girls who completed at least one follow-up interview were invited to participate in a sixth wave of assessment to assess trauma exposure, substance use problems, and sexual risk. The current study (n = 177) examined the association between sexual risk behavior and substance use problems reported at the most recent interview (ages 14-22) and substance use patterns and sexually transmitted infections (STI) reported at all six times points. Multiple regression examined the combined and unique effects of different patterns of substance use and substance use problems as correlates of sexual risk behavior and STIs.Substance use problems were associated with increased sexual risk behavior and increased likelihood of experiencing STIs. Substance use patterns were associated with sexual risk behavior.Results suggest that specific patterns of substance use and substance use problems are important to address in sexual health promotion among low-income, urban, African-American girls with a history of seeking mental health services. Understanding the nuances of these relationships is important in informing how to best serve this vulnerable group of adolescents who experience significant sexual risk and mental health care disparities.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.whi.2013.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000341110100007
View details for PubMedID 24183411