Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor's Name

H. Virginia McCoy

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jesus Sanchez

Third Advisor's Name

Mark Williams

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mary Jo Trepka

Keywords

migrant workers, HIV risk, AIDS, alcohol use, seasonal workers, ethnic identity, drug use, social support

Date of Defense

7-27-2012

Abstract

Migrant workers are one of the most rapidly growing populations in the United States (U.S.) and have been significantly affected by HIV/AIDS. More than 9 million people in the U.S., primarily concentrated in Texas, Florida, Washington, California, Oregon, and North Carolina, are migrant farm workers. High prevalence rates are also suspected among migrant worker communities where risky health behaviors appear to be common. Constant mobility, isolation, limited education, substandard housing, and poverty are some of the factors that migrant workers experience and in many cases increases their HIV risk. Recent studies have suggested that ethnic identity or the level of attachment with one’s ethnic group may influence engagement in HIV risk behaviors, a fact that may be important in the development of interventions among ethnic minorities. This study assesses the relationship between ethnic identity and HIV risk behaviors in two different samples; one assesses this relationship at baseline with a total of 431 African American migrant and seasonal workers in Immokalee, Florida. The second analyzes changes in ethnic identity and HIV behaviors in a sample of 270 Hispanic and African American migrant and seasonal workers in Immokalee, Florida. Data from baseline and 6-month follow-up were used in the analyses presented. The results suggest that individuals with higher levels of ethnic identity report lower levels of engagement in some, but not all, of the risky behaviors examined. These findings point to a potentially protective role for ethnic identity among this sample.

Identifier

FI12110708

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