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Latent Profile Patterns of Network-Level Norms and Associations with Individual-Level Sexual Behaviors: The N2 Cohort Study in Chicago.

  • Shrader, Cho-Hee1
  • Duncan, Dustin T2
  • Chen, Yen-Tyng3
  • Driver, Redd4, 5
  • Russell, Jonathan6, 2
  • Moody, Raymond L2
  • Knox, Justin4, 5, 7
  • Skaathun, Britt8
  • Durrell, Mainza9, 10
  • Hanson, Hillary9, 10
  • Eavou, Rebecca9, 10
  • Goedel, William C11
  • Schneider, John A9, 10
  • 1 Department of Epidemiology, ICAP at Columbia University, Columbia University, 211 W 117th St APT 3A, New York, NY, 10026, USA. [email protected].
  • 2 Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
  • 3 Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
  • 4 Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
  • 5 HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA.
  • 6 Department of Epidemiology, ICAP at Columbia University, Columbia University, 211 W 117th St APT 3A, New York, NY, 10026, USA.
  • 7 Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.
  • 8 Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
  • 9 Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 10 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • 11 Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Published Article
Archives of sexual behavior
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2023
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-023-02555-0
PMID: 36877319


Individual-level behavior can be influenced by injunctive and descriptive social network norms surrounding that behavior. There is a need to understand how the influence of social norms within an individual's social networks may influence individual-level sexual behavior. We aimed to typologize the network-level norms of sexual behaviors within the social networks of Black sexual and gender minoritized groups (SGM) assigned male at birth. Survey data were collected in Chicago, Illinois, USA, between 2018 and 2019 from Black SGM. A total of 371 participants provided individual-level information about sociodemographic characteristics and HIV vulnerability from sex (i.e., condomless sex, group sex, use of alcohol/drugs to enhance sex) and completed an egocentric network inventory assessing perceptions of their social network members' (alters') injunctive and descriptive norms surrounding sexual behaviors with increased HIV vulnerability. We used Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) to identify network-level norms based on the proportion of alters' approval of the participant engaging in condomless sex, group sex, and use of drugs to enhance sex (i.e., injunctive norms) and alters' engagement in these behaviors (i.e., descriptive norms). We then used binomial regression analyses to examine associations between network-level norm profiles and individual-level HIV vulnerability from sex. The results of our LPA indicated that our sample experienced five distinct latent profiles of network-level norms: (1) low HIV vulnerability network norm, (2) moderately high HIV vulnerability network norm, (3) high HIV vulnerability network norm, (4) condomless sex dominant network norm, and (5) approval of drug use during sex dominant network norm. Condomless anal sex, group sex, and using drugs to enhance sex were positively and significantly associated with higher HIV vulnerability social network norm profiles, relative to low HIV vulnerability norm profiles. To mitigate Black SGM's HIV vulnerability, future HIV risk reduction strategies can consider using network-level intervention approaches such as opinion leaders, segmentation, induction, or alteration, through an intersectionality framework. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

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