A measurement model of women's behavioral risk taking

Health Psychology : Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Carol VanZile-TamsenJennifer A Livingston


The current study was designed to gain a better understanding of the nature of the relationship between substance use and sexual risk taking within a community sample of women (N = 1,004). Using confirmatory factor analysis, the authors examined the factor structure of sexual risk behaviors and substance use to determine whether they are best conceptualized as domains underlying a single, higher order, risk-taking propensity. A 2 higher order factor model (sexual risk behavior and substance use) provided the best fit to the data, suggesting that these 2 general risk domains are correlated but independent factors. Sensation seeking had large general direct effects on the 2 risk domains and large indirect effects on the 4 first-order factors and the individual indicators. Negative affect had smaller, yet still significant, effects. Impulsivity and anxiety were unrelated to sexual health risk domains.


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