The Cascading Effect of Social Capital: From Parenting to Mediating Youths' Engagement in HIV Risk Behavior
Brinkley-Rubinstein, Lauren Kay
This study explores the direct and indirect paths through which parental social capital, social networks and connections upon which individuals can draw upon for support, impacts supportive parenting and in turn contributes to youths' intrapersonal protective processes that mediate HIV risk engagement using structural equation modeling. Three hundred and thirty two (332) African-American mothers and their 11 year-old children from nine rural counties in Georgia were recruited to be involved in the study. As hypothesized, parental social capital was significantly and positively associated with supportive parenting and supportive parenting was also significantly and positively associated with youth intrapersonal protective processes. Finally, youth intrapersonal protective processes such as self-regulation, future orientation and resistance efficacy were negatively associated with risk engagement, indicating that youth who had higher levels of intrapersonal protective processes were less likely to engage in risky behavior. This study merges multiple fields of research and theories to examine the effects of social capital on parents’ ability to foster youth development, which protects youth from engaging in behaviors that place them at risk for HIV. Implications of findings for future research are suggested and identification of malleable prevention targets related to social capital is provided.