CitationCrump, Evelyn (2010). The relationship among body mass index, self-esteem, family support, and sexual risk behaviors in African American adolescent females.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore the relationship among body mass index,
self-esteem, family support, and sexual risk behaviors among African American
adolescent females. This study used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent
Health (Add Health) to investigate the relationship. A sample of adolescent females (N =
10,828) was obtained, which included 1,038 African American students and their
families. A sub-sample of African American adolescent females who met the inclusion
criteria (n = 600) was analyzed.
Major findings indicated the following for family support: (a) the greater the body
mass index, the greater the perceived levels of family support; (b) the higher the family
support, the lower the sexual risk behaviors; and (c) the more family dinners, the less
sexual partners. African American parents do not show outward bias to support given to
the adolescent based upon body mass index.
Major findings indicated the following for self-esteem: (a) the lower the self-esteem,
the lower the mean sexual risk index; (b) the higher the self-esteem, the higher the mean
sexual risk index; (c) the higher the body mass index, the higher the self-esteem; and (d)
the higher the self-esteem, the greater the sexual risk. African American adolescents with
low self-esteem are less likely to participate in high-risk sex. Very confident African
American females had the highest sexual risk index. The more confident the adolescent,
the more likely she was to participate in high-risk sex or take sexual risks.
Major findings indicated the following for sexual risk behaviors: the mean sexual
risk index increases with body mass index. As body mass index increases, so does sexual
risk. The greater the body mass index at an early age, the earlier the sexual initiation.
This study concluded that African American adolescent females with less
perceived family support and lower self-esteem participate in higher risk behaviors,
therefore, families should spend more time together including having family meals. The
Roy adaptation model was useful in guiding this study.