All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sigrid L Ladores

Advisory Committee Members

Susan L Davies

Peng Li

Candace C Knight

Robin G Lanzi

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing


Adolescents in the United States disproportionately experience adverse sexual health outcomes compared to adolescents in other developed countries. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide an in-depth examination of adolescent sexual health through the generation of three manuscripts. The first manuscript will provide an integrative review of adolescents’ perceptions of sexual health education programs. The second manuscript will illuminate the five-year trends in adolescent chlamydia rates by region, race, and sex. The third manuscript will provide a qualitative analysis from interviews with African American adolescent females in the southern U.S. Manuscript one reviewed studies from 2008 to 2019. The main themes from the review included: (a) factors influencing adolescent perceptions of sexual health education programs, (b) characteristics of good sexual health education programs, and (c) areas of improvement in sexual health education programs. Manuscript two described the five-year trends in adolescent chlamydia rates by region, race, and sex. The quantitative secondary analysis utilized data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention database. The overall trend in male and female chlamydia rates increased from 2013 through 2017. Specifically, the trend increased faster in males, White adolescents, and those in the Northeast and Midwest. Utilizing qualitative secondary data, the third manuscript explored African American adolescent female’s sexual health beliefs using the health belief model as a framework. The participants reported a variety of both negative and neutral views of sexual health education. Additionally, the adolescent females in the dissertation study discussed the benefits of condom usage in protection from pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, the disadvantages of condom usage due to perceived ineffectiveness, and the barriers to condom usage due to male resistance. Adolescents have the right to receive accurate, comprehensive sexual health education that acknowledges adolescents as key stakeholders. Research dollars should be focused in geographic regions and racial groups where risky sexual health behaviors and adverse outcomes are most prevalent. Understanding adolescents’ sexual health perceptions, behaviors, and beliefs builds the foundation of knowledge about adolescent sexual health and is the first step in ultimately improving adolescent sexual health outcomes.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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