Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Jeanne Connors


The Navajo tribe reports extraordinarily high number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual populations. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the cultural value of adil' idli (self-respect) and how this cultural practice might influence health behaviors in sexual activity, condoms use, and acquiring of STDs among Navajo men. The Health Belief Model (HBM) was the theoretical foundation for providing a deeper understanding of the social, environmental, and cultural factors of condom use among Navajo men. Research questions focus on understanding whether condoms affected sexual activity, its protective role against STDs/HIV, and acceptability concerns pertaining to adil' idli (self-respect). A purposeful criterion-based sampling was used to select and interview 20 Navajo men ages 20 to 39 who lived in or near Shiprock, New Mexico and Gallup, New Mexico. I used a grounded approach and categorizing strategy to code and analyze the transcripts. Key findings revealed that the positive components of adil' idli (self-respect) have influenced Navajo men to protect themselves by wearing condoms. Recommendations include identifying strategies to address condom errors and failures and to develop tactful approaches to promote correct condom use in order to decrease the rates of STDs and HIV among Navajo men. The positive social change implications include health professionals' use of findings to improve STD and condom use prevention behavior among Navajo men by integrating the cultural beliefs of adil' idli (self-respect), specifically emphasizing the positive aspects of staying healthy in health messages.