Youth risky sexual behavior in Guyana: An ecological perspective




John, Samantha V.

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The goal of this dissertation was to examine the individual and community factors associated with risky sexual behavior among youth in Guyana in the context of gender and ethnicity by utilizing a nationally representative dataset. I also examined the role of gender and cultural norms in shaping youth risky sexual behavior independent of other individual factors. I used descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and nested multivariable models to identify the individual factors associated early sexual debut. I estimated a nested two-level random intercept model to identify the community factors associated with early sexual debut, controlling for individual factors and found that sexual behavior of adults was the only significant community factor.

The main findings were that certain demographic, economic characteristics and cognitive characteristic were significantly associated with early sexual debut. The influence of gender and cultural norms on youth risky sexual behavior after controlling for other individual factors differs by ethnic group. The age of sexual debut of older adults was the only significant community characteristic associated with early sexual debut after controlling for individual factors. Strategies placing youth in proper gender, ethnic and place context should formulated and implemented to reduce youth risky sexual behavior among Caribbean youth.


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community, early sexual debut, Guyana, risky sexual behavior, youth