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Adolescence. 1994 Spring;29(113):13-26.

Attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding condom use in urban black adolescent males.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md. 21287-2530.


This study was conducted to determine male adolescent behavior, attitudes, and knowledge concerning the use of condoms. Subjects were 241 sexually active black adolescent males attending an inner-city adolescent medicine clinic who were surveyed using a structured interview technique. Factors associated with condom use included higher grade level, > or = 2 sexual partners in the past six months, communication about contraception with sexual partner(s), desire for sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention when contracepting, and parental suggestion to use condoms. Variables not associated with condom use included older age, minimal level of knowledge about condom use, history of having impregnated a partner or of having contracted an STD, desire for pregnancy prevention, suggestion by friends to use condoms, or partner dissatisfaction with condoms. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, the following variables in combination were able to correctly classify respondents as condom users or nonusers in 74% of cases: higher knowledge score, reported communication about contraception with one's partner(s), > or = 2 partners in the past six months, and higher socioeconomic status. These findings suggest that, for the study population, interventions directed toward improving knowledge about condoms, school achievement, and communication with parents and partners may be effective in increasing condom use.


Structured interviews with 241 sexually active Black adolescent males attending an adolescent medicine clinic in Washington, DC, yielded useful data on factors associated with condom use in this population group. The average age of subjects was 16.2 years and they had completed an average of 10th grade. 90% of parents were employed, generally in jobs providing clerical and administrative support. Average age at first intercourse was 12.4 years. 56 (23.1%) had a prior history of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and 46 (19.0%) had impregnated a sexual partner. 208 males (86.0%) has ever used contraception and 163 (67.4%) had used condoms at some point. Among the ever-users, 109 (52.4%) identified condoms as their method of preference. Condom use was significantly associated with education beyond the 9th grade and higher socioeconomic status; it was not correlated with increased age or level of knowledge regarding condoms. Males who had 2 or more sexual partners in the 6 months preceding the interviews were more likely than those who had 0 or 1 partner to report condom use, but a history of STDs or impregnation of a sexual partner did not significantly increase this likelihood. Discussions with sexual partners about contraception, but not sex, prior to intercourse also increased condom usage. Males who used contraception to avoid STDs or to follow parental suggestion were more likely to use condoms than those primarily concerned with pregnancy prevention. Finally, multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that a combination of 4 factors--higher knowledge score, 2 or more sexual partners in the preceding 6 months, higher socioeconomic status, and communication about contraception with sexual partners--correctly classified subjects as condom users or nonusers in 74% of cases. Overall, these findings confirm the acceptability of condom use among Black adolescent males, especially if an emphasis is placed on their ability to protect against STDs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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