Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Rosalie Corona


Latina/o emerging adults living in southern states may be especially at risk of being disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2015, Latina/os aged 20 to 24 accounted for 14.7% of all 20-24-year old’s living with HIV in southern states, despite the fact that 20 to 24-year-olds make up 3.7% of the region’s overall population of individuals living with HIV (CDC, 2016; U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). Specifically, there continues to be groups of Latina/o emerging adults who do not use condoms when they are sexually active and who are not using condoms consistently. Condom use literature suggests that relationship factors, such as power dynamics and dating violence (DV) victimization, can play an essential role in Latina/o emerging adults' attitudes towards condoms and condom use behaviors. Hence, there is a continued need for studies focused on identifying factors that serve as barriers to and supports for southern-residing, Latina/o emerging adults’ condom use behaviors. To this end, 196 Latina/o emerging adults (59 males, 137 females) completed a survey that asked questions about their sexual attitudes, behaviors, intentions, cultural factors, and DV. This study sought to examine the inter-relations among Latina/o emerging adult’s DV experiences (i.e., victimization, perpetration), cultural factors (i.e., acculturation, traditional gender roles (TGRs), familismo), and condom use outcomes (i.e., attitudes toward condoms, condom use efficacy, condom use negotiation efficacy). Second, it sought to investigate whether biological sex and cultural factors moderated the relationship between DV experiences and condom use outcomes.

Bivariate correlations revealed a number of associations between the variables and regressions analyses suggest that adherence to TGRs significantly affected whether or not females had perpetrated or experienced DV. Further, biological sex was found to moderate the relationship between DV perpetration and condom use negotiation efficacy and DV perpetration and Attitudes towards condoms such that the effect is stronger for Latinos compared to Latinas. Lastly, familismo beliefs was identified as an exacerbator, such that the positive relationship between DV victimization and condom use efficacy is particularly strong for individuals who possess higher familismo beliefs than those with lower familismo beliefs. This study’s finding of Latina’s increasing condom use negotiation efficacy among Latina’s that perpetrate DV sheds insight into the possibility of Latinas utilizing physical violence as a method of achieving a balance of power and sexual control in a romantic relationship to protect themselves against STIs. Given this, future researchers should longitudinally investigate the nuances in DV perpetration and victimization behaviors among emerging adults with an emphasis on relationship power dynamics in heterosexual relationships among Latina/os.


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