Cross-national study of risky sexual behavior among gang-involved youth in metropolitan Boston and San Salvador, El Salvador

Bipasha Biswas, René Olate, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Although conformity to peer norms poses significant risks for adolescent sexual behavior, information is limited on types of gang-related activities that predict risky sexual behavior among gang-involved youth. Using data from Boston (n = 375) and San Salvador (n = 207), we compared the two groups on key characteristics and assessed factors associated with risky sexual behaviors. Number of arrests and aggression predicted number of sexual partners in Boston and San Salvador samples, while delinquency, arrests and age predicted pregnancy outcomes. Medium to large effect-size differences were noted in future orientation, delinquency and gang-involvement attitudes. Gang-involvement and risky sexual behavior were associated in this sample. Salvadoran youth differed significantly from those in Boston on key gang-related characteristics, rendering them even more vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
JournalVulnerable Children and Youth Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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