Sociocultural contexts of Asian American/Pacific Islander women's HIV risk enhancing/reducing responses

Jennifer C Huang, University of Rhode Island


HIV prevention issues for Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) women are complex and multifaceted. Comprehending the risk enhancing/reducing responses of API women in heterosexual relationships requires an examination of various sociocultural influences, such as gender roles, cultural expectations, community, economic conditions, acculturation and public policies that shape API women's decision-making and HIV risk enhancing/reducing responses. ^ In order to address these issues, a mixed method study (i.e., qualitative and quantitative) was conducted to elucidate these sociocultural factors. Additionally, this study sought to investigate the various ecological levels that are associated with API women's sexual risk enhancing and reducing behaviors. ^ Participants included ten self-identified API women in heterosexual relationships. Each of these women participated in a semi-structured interview designed to address sexual health, cultural and gender issues. The Ecological Model of Health Promotion (McLeroy, Bibeau, Steckler & Glanz, 1988) was used as a theoretical framework to guide research and interview questions. Participants also completed the Suinn-Lew Asian Identity Acculturation Scale (Scale (SL-ASIA; Suinn, Rickard-Figueroa, Lew, & Vigil, 1987) as well as the Brief HIV Knowledge Questionnaire (HIV-KQ-18; Carey, & Schroder, 2002) to assess their acculturation levels and HIV knowledge. Methods adopted from grounded theory were used to analyze interviews. ^ Findings indicate that various sociocultural factors, such as cultural and gender norms and expectations affected the sexual health of participants at various ecological levels, such as the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and public policy levels. Implications for future research are provided and culturally congruent interventions are proposed to target these various ecological levels to change condom communication, negotiation and safer sex practices for API women and their male partners. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Social|Women's Studies|Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Jennifer C Huang, "Sociocultural contexts of Asian American/Pacific Islander women's HIV risk enhancing/reducing responses" (2004). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3137073.