The Context of Risky Behaviors for Latino Youth

Marie L. Talashek, Nilda Peragallo, Kathleen Norr, Barbara L. Dancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background and significance: Alarming numbers of Latino teens continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Design: This study includes data from six focus groups with 38 Latinas. The primary purpose of the focus groups was to elicit antecedents to unsafe sex to guide the development of an HIV-prevention intervention for adult Latinas. The data were reanalyzed using the rich content that had been elicited about community teens. Findings: Six major themes were identified surrounding teen issues and concerns. These are (a) the culture of risky behaviors; (b) romance: illusion and reality; (c) parental involvement: a protective factor; (d) HIV: knowledge versus ignorance; (e) HIV among youth: fear, stigma, and anger; and (f) saving our youth. Implications: A multimodal approach is required to help teens adopt healthy life styles, remain in school, and have a positive relationship with their parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Latino/Latina adolescents
  • Parental influence
  • Risky behaviors
  • Romance
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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