Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: Pathways from peer victimization to sexual risk-taking behavior among African American adolescents in Chicago’s Southside.

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Objective: Although empirical studies have documented high rates of peer victimization and sexual risk-taking behaviors among African American adolescents, only a few studies have examined the link between the two. The present study examines the pathways from peer victimization and sexual risk-taking behavior among a sample of 269 African American adolescents residing in the Chicago, Illinois, Southside. Method: A cross-sectional research design was utilized among adolescents who completed self-report surveys for peer victimization, depression, exposure to negative peer norms, substance use, and sexual risk-taking behavior. Path analysis using structural equation models was conducted to examine linkages among the major study variables. Results: Peer victimization was not directly related to sexual risk-taking behavior. However, peer victimization was associated with greater negative peer norms and depression. Negative peer norms were also associated with greater depression, substance use, and sexual risk-taking behavior. In addition, peer victimization was associated with negative peer norms, which in turn were related to sexual risk-taking behavior. Finally, peer victimization was associated with greater negative peer norms, which in turn were related to more substance use, and subsequently higher sexual risk-taking behavior. Conclusion: Clinicians might utilize interventions aimed at promoting posttraumatic growth and altering violent and risky behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)