Impact of School Experiences and School Contextual Factors on STD/HIV-Related Risk Behaviors among African American College Students

Jiangmin Xu, Jingzhi Xu


College students, especially African American college students, are among the highest risk groups and are more likely to be at risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) due to their substance abuse and high-risk sexual behaviors. Previous studies and educational interventions have focused on college student knowledge of STDs and Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but failed to examine the impacts of some important factors beyond the individual level of behavioral influence such as student’s school experience and school contextual factors. In fact, the college environment offers many opportunities for those STD/HIV-related risk behaviors, including unsafe sex, multiple sexual partners, alcohol use, and substance abuse. Analyses were based on data gathered from 267 African American college students enrolled at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) who participated in the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) survey. The findings indicate that STD/HIV knowledge and education have no significant effects on African American college students’ substance abuse and high-risk sexual behaviors; instead, students’ experience and school contextual factors are important factors in predicting their substance abuse and high-risk sexual behaviors.


Substance abuse; high-risk sexual behaviors; school experiences; sexually transmitted diseases

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