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Factors Associated with Access to Sexual Health Services Among Teens in Toronto: Does Immigration Matter?

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This manuscript explores predictors of access to sexual health services among urban immigrant adolescents who live in Toronto, Canada. Surveys (n = 1216) were collected from pre-existing youth groups in community settings. A binary logistic multivariate model was developed to examine associations between access to sexual health services and a series of individual, interpersonal, and structural variables. Sexual activity, age, race, and social resources each had significant partial impact on access to sexual health services. Among young women, those with more social resources had significantly accessed services more often than those with fewer resources, but among men there was no difference as a function of social resources. Although immigration predicted access to sexual health services on its own, it was not statistically significant in this model when other variables were included. Immigration status, in and of itself, was not a predictor of youth’s access to sexual health services. The impact of immigration status appears to occur because of its association with other variables, such as race. Implications for practice are discussed.

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We would like to thank the entire Toronto Teen Survey Team, including Dr. Robb Travers, Dr. June Larkin, Dr. Jason Pole, Susan Flynn, Crystal Layne, Dr. Adrian Guta, our youth advisors and all the students who helped us collect this valuable information. We are also grateful to all our youth participants and the community agencies that participated in this project. Toronto Teen Survey was funded by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, the Wellesley Institute, and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Roxana Salehi’s doctoral research, which this manuscript is based on, was supported by a generous grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her post-doctoral research was supported by CIHR and K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation.

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Correspondence to Roxana Salehi.

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Salehi, R., Hynie, M. & Flicker, S. Factors Associated with Access to Sexual Health Services Among Teens in Toronto: Does Immigration Matter?. J Immigrant Minority Health 16, 638–645 (2014).

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  • Sexual health services
  • Immigration
  • Adolescent health
  • Access to health services