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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Personal, cognitive, behavioral, and demographic predictors of HIV testing and STDs in homeless women

  • Author(s): Nyamathi, AM
  • Stein, JA
  • Swanson, JM
  • et al.

Using a multiracial sample of 621 homeless women, we tested a latent variable causal model of personal, cognitive, behavioral, and demographic predictors of two coping mediators and the outcome variables of HIV testing and return for test results and a recent STD infection. HIV testing and return were predicted by more social support, greater AIDS knowledge, greater perceived risk for AIDS, and more problem-focused coping strategies. Recent STDs were predicted by more AIDS knowledge, emotion-focused coping strategies, and risky sexual behavior and one measured variable, crack cocaine use. Emotion-focused coping strategies were predicted by drug use, less self-esteem, more social support, and greater perceived risk for AIDS. Hispanics reported less emotion-focused coping strategies than African- Americans. Predictors of problem-focused coping strategies included less drug use, more self-esteem, more social support, more AIDS knowledge, and less risky sexual behavior. African-Americans reported less problem-focused coping strategies than Latinas. Indirect effects on the outcomes mediated through coping styles are also reported. Theoretical and practical implications of results for community outreach are discussed.

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