Health risk taking and human immunodeficiency virus risk in collegiate female athletes

Patricia K. Kokotailo, Rebecca E. Koscik, Bill C. Henry, Michael F. Fleming, Gregory L. Landry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Risky health behaviors of female intercollegiate varsity athletes and their nonathlete peers were compared. Five hundred seventy-one female university students (109 athletes and 462 nonathlete peers) at two midwestern universities completed a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire during team meetings or class sessions. Each athlete was matched with two nonathlete controls of similar age, ethnicity, and class year to test for dichotomous outcome variables. A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk scale was developed to identify factors associated with increased HIV risk for all of the female participants. Measures of alcohol and other drug use were associated with HIV risk. The athletes were found to engage in significantly fewer risk-taking behaviors than the nonathletes and to be at less risk for HIV. High levels of risk behaviors generally indicated the need for increased efforts to change risky behaviors in all college women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Athletes
  • Females
  • HIV
  • Health risks
  • Risk taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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