, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 123-147

Personal, Cognitive, Behavioral, and Demographic Predictors of HIV Testing and STDs in Homeless Women

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Using a multiracial sample of 621 homeless women, we tested a latent variable causal model of personal, cognitive, behavioral, and demographic predictors of two coping mediators and the outcome variables of HIV testing and return for test results and a recent STD infection. HIV testing and return were predicted by more social support, greater AIDS knowledge, greater perceived risk for AIDS, and more problem-focused coping strategies. Recent STDs were predicted by more AIDS knowledge, emotion-focused coping strategies, and risky sexual behavior and one measured variable, crack cocaine use. Emotion-focused coping strategies were predicted by drug use, less self-esteem, more social support, and greater perceived risk for AIDS. Hispanics reported less emotion-focused coping strategies than African-Americans. Predictors of problem-focused coping strategies included less drug use, more self-esteem, more social support, more AIDS knowledge, and less risky sexual behavior. African-Americans reported less problem-focused coping strategies than Latinas. Indirect effects on the outcomes mediated through coping styles are also reported. Theoretical and practical implications of results for community outreach are discussed.