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AIDS Educ Prev. 1992 Summer;4(2):120-34.

Psychosocial predictors of "safer sex" behaviors in young adults.

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  • 1Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.


This study tested a model of safer sex behavior using variables from social learning theory, the health belief model, the theory of reasoned action, and theories of cognitive coping style. Two types of safer sex behavior were measured: frequency of condom use and the discussion of AIDS and past partners with a sexual partner. The participants--275 undergraduate students--completed an anonymous written questionnaire. The variables (behavioral intention, perceived susceptibility, barriers, self-efficacy, monitoring, blunting, and social support) predicted 35% of the variance in condom use and 13% of the variance in discussion (adjusted R2s). Intention was the strongest predictor of both types of safer sex behavior. Perceived susceptibility and perceived barriers were associated with intention to use a condom; perceived barriers was inversely related to condom use. Self-efficacy was associated with the intention to discuss and reported discussion of AIDS and past partners with a sexual partner; social support was related to the intention to discuss. An information-avoiding coping style was negatively associated with condom use. Implications for future research and intervention efforts in the area of AIDS prevention are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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