What Assets Help Young Latinas to Guard Themselves against HIV and Other Negative Sexual Health Outcomes?
Research identifies several assets and protective factors associated with positive sexual health outcomes among Latina youth. Among others, assets include self-esteem and having high aspirations as well as positive coping and communication skills. • High Self-Esteem—Research has identified high self-esteem as important in young people’s willingness and ability to use condoms and other contraception.[25,26] Factors that contribute to high self-esteem among young Latinas include warm and supportive parent-child relationships as well as young women’s positive attitudes toward life and their academic motivations and academic competence.[9,13,16,17,19] Research also shows that bilingual students often bridge Hispanic and Anglo cultures, thereby achieving heightened self-esteem, even in the face of perceived discrimination. Studies have found that young Latinas who participate in sports and feel connected to school also have healthy self-esteem,[27,28] as do Latinas who perceive their pa