Individual and community risk factors and sexually transmitted diseases among arrested youths: a two level analysis
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- Dembo, R., Belenko, S., Childs, K. et al. J Behav Med (2009) 32: 303. doi:10.1007/s10865-009-9205-8
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High rates of infection for chlamydia and gonorrhea have been noted among youths involved in the juvenile justice system. Although both individual and community-level factors have been found to be associated with sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk, their relative importance has not been tested in this population. A two-level logistic regression analysis was completed to assess the influence of individual-level and community-level predictors on STD test results among arrested youths processed at a centralized intake facility. Results from weighted two level logistic regression analyses (n = 1,368) indicated individual-level factors of gender (being female), age, race (being African American), and criminal history predicted the youths’ positive STD status. For the community-level predictors, concentrated disadvantage significantly and positively predicted the youths’ STD status. Implications of these findings for future research and public health policy are discussed.