Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Faye Belgrave

Second Advisor

Joann Richardson

Third Advisor

Eric Benotsch


Black women in the United States disproportionately represent 64% of women with an HIV infection (CDC, 2013). Research is needed to better understand gender and culturally-specific factors that contribute to Black women’s HIV risk. The Theory of Gender and Power and the Theory of Planned behavior were used as theoretical frameworks in examining the effect of attitudinal beliefs (gender related beliefs), subjective norm beliefs (peer norms), and perceived behavioral control beliefs (relationship power) on sexual behavior in Black college women. Condom use and assertiveness in sexual communication were the dependent variables. Participants included 136 Black college women recruited through the department of psychology’s subject pool and as student volunteers. Results revealed peer norms as a significant predictor of condom use, and agency and gender ratio imbalance beliefs as significant predictors of perceived relationship power. Findings have implications for understanding social and gender related factors for HIV prevention among Black women.


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