Gendered powerlessness in at-risk adolescent and young women: an empirical model.

TitleGendered powerlessness in at-risk adolescent and young women: an empirical model.
Publication TypePublication
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsChiaramonte D, Miller RLin, Lee KS, Rivera OJSantiago, Acevedo-Polakovich ID, McGirr S, Porter JL, Ellen JM, Boyer CB
Corporate AuthorsAdolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions
JournalAIDS Care
Date Published2020 Oct

<p>In the United States, youth aged 13-24 comprised approximately 21% of new HIV infections in 2017; 13% of these infections occurred among women, the majority of whom (86%) acquired HIV through heterosexual contact (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019a. . Retrieved from, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019b. . Retrieved from We fit and validated a developmentally appropriate empirical model of Connell's Theory of Gender and Power (Connell, R. W. 1987. . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, Connell, R. W. 2013. . Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons) in a sample of young women and assessed whether gendered powerlessness reflected a multidimensional higher-order latent factor, as the theory implies. Anonymous computer-assisted interviews were administered to at-risk, sexually active young women ( = 1,101). Factor analyses and structural equation modeling were used to determine the dimensionality of gendered powerlessness. Associations with condom use were examined to validate the model. We fit a three-component model of gendered powerlessness, but not a higher-order latent factor. We observed that high scores on two dimensions of gendered powerlessness - cathexis and sexual division of power - were associated with lower likelihood of condom use. Our three-component model helps elucidate the role that components of gendered powerlessness play in young women's health behaviors and underscores the need for measures tailored to young women at high risk of contracting HIV.</p>

Alternate JournalAIDS Care
PubMed ID32008352
PubMed Central IDPMC7395879
Grant ListU01 HD040474 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
U01 HD040533 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States