Featured Article: Does High Self-Efficacy in Sexual Situations Reduce the Risk of Rape?

August 28, 2015:

DonnaCoffmanTwenty percent of South African youth report having experienced forced sex, or rape. Compounding this problem is the fact that youth who have been raped are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior (e.g., sex without a condom) in the future. Previous research established that youth in the United States who believe in their ability to control a situation (i.e., youth with high self-efficacy) are less likely to experience rape by a peer or date (Walsh & Foshee, 1998). A new article, “Forced Sexual Experiences and Sexual Situation Self-Efficacy Among Youth,” coauthored by former PAMT trainee Jacqui Miller, Methodology Center Investigator Donna Coffman and several investigators on the HealthWise South Africa project, examines whether this correlation holds true for South African youth.

The authors applied multilevel models to a subset of data (N=10,379) from the HealthWise project. Heathwise South Africa is a school-based substance use and HIV prevention program in the area around Cape Town, South Africa. Their findings supported the importance of sexual situation self-efficacy for reducing the risk of rape. The impact of sexual self-efficacy was observed regardless of whether the teen had previously been a victim of rape. The authors also found that self-efficacy varies across time, which can lead to different levels of risk at different times.
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References

Miller, J. A., Smith, E. A., Coffman, D., Mathews, C., & Wegner, L. (2015). Forced sexual experiences and sexual situation self‐efficacy among South African youth.Journal of Research on Adolescence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jora.12217

Health Education Research: Theory and Practice, 13, 139–144. doi: 10.1093/her/13.1.139

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