The influence of attachment styles on HIV -risk behaviors in young men who have sex with men
The present study investigated the relationships among research-identified risk factors, attachment variables and sexual HIV-risk behaviors, using data from the study “Risk and Resiliency among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men”, conducted by the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) in New York City. The sample was drawn from a larger sample of 569 men and included 114 ethnically diverse, homosexually active men, age 17–28, recruited from public venues in New York City. Risk factors included age, education, regular substance abuse, drug use during sex encounters, number of male sex partners in the past month, and HIV risk perception. Attachment was assessed with the self-report questionnaire Experience in Close Relationships - Revised (ECR-R, Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000), which yields scores on the two attachment dimensions, avoidance and anxiety, and classifications yielding the four categories, secure, preoccupied, fearful, and dismissing. Sexual HIV-risk behaviors were defined as unprotected anal receptive and insertive intercourse. Results indicated significant relationships between HIV risk behaviors and the risk factors education, drug use during sexual encounters, and HIV risk perception. There were also significant relationships found between insecure attachment and education, number of sex partners, regular substance abuse, and HIV risk perception, but no significant association between attachment and HIV risk behaviors. Results are discussed in the light of the complexity of the relationship among the variables and the narrowness of the sample.
Human immunodeficiency virus--HIV;
0384: Behaviorial sciences
0573: Public health