Up Close and Personal: An Examination of How Personality Dimensions, Self-Esteem, and Early Engagement in Risky Sexual Behaviors are Correlated with Risky Sexual Behaviors Related to HIV

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Moore, Zaver Demond
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Middle Tennessee State University
The facts related to how one contracts the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are common knowledge through advertisements, television commercials, and educational classes. Even though the general facts of HIV are being taught, the mechanisms behind two of the main behavioral factors related to the contraction process (i.e., unprotected sex and intravenous drug usage) are still being studied. The present study sought to understand how personality dimensions, engagement in risk sexual behaviors during adolescence, and self-esteem are related to increased likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviors (RSB) that are associated with contracting HIV. The results indicated that sensation-seeking and early engagement in risky sexual behaviors were correlated with increased likelihood to engage in risky sexual behaviors. Also, the multiple regression model was found to be significant, but only early engagement in risky sexual behaviors was a significant predictor for increased likelihood of engaging in RSB. By examining these relationships, we will be able to more effectively tailor intervention programs and better understand some of the underlying factors related to this chronic sexually transmitted disease.
HIV, Impulsivity, Personality, Risky Sexual Behaviors, Self-Esteem, Sensation-Seeking