Exploring the factors that influence the sexual decision making process among African American adolescent girls
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the factors that influence the sexual decision making process of 12 African American female adolescents. Three research questions guided this study: 1. What are the perceptions and beliefs that African American female adolescents have regarding sex and HIV/AIDS? 2. What are the factors that impact the sexual decision making process of African American female adolescents? 3. How do African American female adolescents describe the emotional impact that affect the decision making process to have sex? The aim of this research was to explore the factors that influence the sexual decision making process of African American female adolescents. The phenomenological research design was grounded in Black feminist theory to capture the lived experiences of the phenomenon (Patton, 2000). Data was collected during semi-structured interviews with four participants and two 90-minute focus group of an independent sample of eight informants that did not participate in the individual interviews. Bracketing of researcher assumptions was used to demonstrate dependability, credibility and coherence of the data reduction and analysis (Creswell, 2007). Open coding allowed the researcher to generate a list of broad domains to create a codebook (Wertz, 2005). The researcher used a recursive method of data collection and analysis; the codebook guided independent coding of each transcribed interview. Constant comparisons were used to help identify new codes that did not fit under previously identified domains (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Emergent themes that parallel the research questions are described. First, themes that described the factors that impact the sexual decision making process of African American adolescent females included: (a) peer relationships; (b) media influence; and (c) mother-daughter relationship. Practice and research implications regarding the factors that influence the decision making of adolescent girls of color are discuss.