Dating Relationship and Condom Use in College Students: An Application of the Transtheoretical Model

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Title: Dating Relationship and Condom Use in College Students: An Application of the Transtheoretical Model
Author: Bailey Carr, Malissa Ann
Advisors: Craig C Brookins, Committee Member
Patricia W. Collins, Committee Member
Ann C Schulte, Committee Chair
Susan O. Osborne, Committee Member
Abstract: Numerous researchers have documented that despite knowledge that condoms can prevent the transmission of HIV during sexual activity, a majority of college students fail to consistently implement the safer-sex practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. In hopes of promoting safer sex practices, health professionals have sought to apply numerous theoretical frameworks to understand the factors that predict students’ condom use. One promising theory is the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavior Change. The primary purposes of the present study were to replicate Parsons et al.’s (2000) application of the TTM to sexual risk-taking and to examine whether the relationship context in which college students’ sexual activity took place was related to three sexual risk-taking variables examined by Parsons et al. (i.e., stage of change for condom use, consistency of condom use within the last 30 days, and condom use during the last sexual act). It was predicted that students in long-term, monogamous relationships would be less likely to use condoms and less willing to consider introducing them into their current dating relationships than students in other types of relationships. Through the use of self-report survey data collected from a sample of 232 students, the present study was able to successfully replicate Parsons et al.’s (2000) original multivariate findings. Although the current study found some support for the hypotheses related to Relationship Status, it was not a strong predictor of any of the sexual risk-taking variables examined. One major finding of the present study was that the majority of sexually active students were in monogamous, long-term relationships, even at young ages. The results from this study lend further support for the predictive value of TTM in terms of sexual risk taking and suggest that safer-sex interventions for college students may need to adapted to the changing dating patterns of college youth. Directions for future research are also discussed.
Date: 2009-12-03
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Psychology

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