Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


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


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

Date of Defense



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.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).