Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 14, Iss. 4, October, 2010, pp. 491-509
@2010 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences

 
 
 

Modeling Early Sexual Initiation among Young Adolescents Using Quantum and Continuous Behavior Change Methods: Implications for HIV Prevention

Xinguang Chen, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
Sonja Lunn, Office of AIDS, Bahamas Ministry of Health, Nassau, The Bahamas
Carole Harris, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
Xiaoming Li, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI,US
Lynette Deveaux, Office of AIDS, Bahamas Ministry of Health, Nassau,The Bahamas
Sharon Marshall, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit,MI, USA
Leslie Cottrell, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
Bonita Stanton, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI,USA

Abstract: Behavioral research and prevention intervention science efforts have largely been based on hypotheses of linear or rational behavior change. Additional advances in the field may result from the integration of quantum behavior change and catastrophe models. Longitudinal data from a randomized trial for 1241 pre-adolescents 9-12 years old who self-described as virgin were analyzed. Data for 469 virgins in the control group were included for linear and cusp catastrophe models to describe sexual initiation; data for the rest in the intervention group were added for program effect assessment. Self-reported likelihood to have sex was positively associated with actual initiation of sex (OR=1.72, 95% CI: 1.43-2.06, R2 = 0.13). Receipt of a behavioral prevention intervention based on a cognitive model prevented 15.6% (33.0% vs. 48.6%, OR = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.24-1.11) of the participants from initiating sex among only those who reported ”very likely to have sex.” The beta coefficients for the cubic term of the usp assessing three bifurcating variables (planning to have sex, intrinsic rewards from sex and self-efficacy for abstinence) were 0.0726, 0.1116 an intervention based on a model of continuous behavior change did produce a modest impact on sexual initiation, quantum change has contributed more than continuous change in describing sexual initiation among young adolescents, suggesting the need for quantum change and chaotic models to advance behavioral prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: quantum behavior change, cusp catastrophe model, sexual risk behavior, adolescents, HIV prevention