Urban American Indian Adolescent Girls: Framing Sexual Risk Behavior

Melissa A. Saftner, Kristy K. Martyn, Sandra L. Momper, Carol J. Loveland-Cherry, Lisa Kane Low

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore factors that influence urban adolescent American Indian (AI) girls’ sexual risk behavior. Design: A qualitative study was conducted with grounded theory methodology to reveal factors and processes that influence sexual risk behavior. Method: Talking circles, individual interviews, and event history calendars were used with 20 urban AI 15- to 19-year-old girls to explore influences on sexual risk behavior. Results: The generated theory'framing sexual risk behavior'describes social and structural factors and processes that influenced the girls’ sexual risk behavior. The theory extends Bronfenbrenner's ecological model by identifying microsystem, mesosystem, and macrosystem influences on sexual risk behavior. Discussion: Urban AI girls reported similar social and structural influences on sexual risk behavior as urban adolescents from other racial and ethnic groups. However, differences were noted in the family structure, cultural heritage, and unique history of AIs. Implications: This theory can be used in culturally responsive practice with urban AI girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The National Institute for Nursing’s National Research Service Award (F31NR012108) funded this research. Dr. Saftner also received funding from the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School and School of Nursing.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • clinical areas
  • cultural groups
  • grounded theory
  • research methods
  • women's health


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