AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1908–1918 | Cite as

Hope, the Household Environment, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Young Women in Rural South Africa (HPTN 068)

  • Lauren M. HillEmail author
  • Laurie Abler
  • Suzanne Maman
  • Rhian Twine
  • Kathleen Kahn
  • Catherine MacPhail
  • Audrey Pettifor
Original Paper


We assessed the psychological trait of hope as an explanatory mediator in the relationship between the home environment and sexual risk behaviors among 2533 young women in rural South Africa. Hope mediated the relationship between average household age and sexual debut (mediated effect = − 0.003, p < 0.05), and between household consumption and sexual debut (mediated effect = − 0.019, p < 0.05). Both higher average household age (β = 0.01; 95% CI 0.00, 0.01) and greater household consumption (β = 0.05; 95% CI 0.02, 0.08) were marginally associated with higher hope. In turn, greater hope was associated with lower odds of sexual debut (aOR = 0.62; 95% CI 0.52, 0.74). These results provide important preliminary evidence of the role of the home environment in shaping protective psychological assets and healthy sexual behaviors. Continued exploration of the relationship between hope and the home environment may help to explain why young women in this context have a disproportionate risk for HIV.


Hope Household Sexual risk South Africa Young women HIV 



This work was supported by Award Numbers UM1 AI068619 (HPTN Leadership and Operations Center), UM1AI068617 (HPTN Statistical and Data Management Center), UM1AI068613 (HPTN Laboratory Center), and T32AI007001 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren M. Hill
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laurie Abler
    • 1
  • Suzanne Maman
    • 1
  • Rhian Twine
    • 2
  • Kathleen Kahn
    • 2
  • Catherine MacPhail
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Audrey Pettifor
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Health BehaviorUNC Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Wits Reproductive Health and HIV InstituteUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.School of Health and SocietyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyUNC Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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