Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

Condom Use Behavioural Skills Mediate the Relationship between Condom Use Motivation and Condom Use Behaviour among Young Adult Heterosexual Males: An Information-Motivation Behavioural Skills Analysis

Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality

Condom Use Behavioural Skills Mediate the Relationship between Condom Use Motivation and Condom Use Behaviour among Young Adult Heterosexual Males: An Information-Motivation Behavioural Skills Analysis

Article excerpt

This study examined the relationship between condom use motivation and condom use behavioural skills, and their direct and mediated influence on condom use consistency from the perspective of the Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) model of health behaviour. Participants were 149 currently sexually active heterosexual males aged 18-24 (M = 18.6). The motivation component of the IMB model was operationalized with measures of attitudes toward condoms and perceptions of social norms, while assessing the implementation of negotiation strategies that can be used to obtain or avoid condom use operationalized the behavioural skills component. Results indicated that condom use motivation was positively correlated with specific condom use obtaining strategies, and condom use consistency was negatively correlated with certain condom use avoiding strategies. Moreover, specific condom negotiation strategies partially mediated the relationships between motivational constructs and condom use consistency. These findings confirm the propositions of the IMB model, illustrate the utility of measurement of behavioural skills in relation to implementation of specific actions, and highlight the need for interventions to focus on dyadic negotiation and communication strategies as important influences on condom use consistency. Implications for future research and theoretical refinement are discussed.

KEY WORDS: Condom use, condom negotiation strategies, IMB model, behavioural skills

INTRODUCTION

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 15-24 year old youth have the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhoea in Canada (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014). In view of research that indicates that 32% of sexually active 15-24 year old Canadians did not use a condom the last time they had sex (Rotermann, 2012), high rates of STIs are not surprising. To compound the problem, adolescents who report condom-use at last intercourse may well not be employing this method consistently during all sexual encounters (Fisher & Boroditzky, 2000). As it only takes a single unprotected sexual encounter to contract an STI, consistent condom use is essential for adequate STI prevention.

In the context of STI prevention among heterosexual young people, it may be prudent to focus on male's use of condoms. Female partners may purchase condoms, express positive attitudes toward condoms, request that the male partner use a condom, or apply condoms for their male partners, but it is ultimately the male who must consent to use a condom and to do so with consistency. In this connection, Edgley (2003), for example, found that while females reported initiating discussions about sexual health and STIs with their partners more often than males, and reported feeling responsible for the decision to use condoms, the couple's decision was more strongly influenced by the male's perception of whether condoms should be used than by the female partner's wishes. In light of the potentially male-controlled process of condom use and related findings, further research regarding the determinants of condom use, focusing on the influence of heterosexual males on condom use outcomes, would appear to be warranted.

The Information-Motivation-Behavioural Skills (IMB) Model (Fisher & Fisher, 1992; Fisher, Fisher, & Shuper, 2014) is an appropriate theoretical framework within which to conceptualize condom use consistency in young males, and prevention strategies based on this model have been shown to increase safer-sex behaviours among college students and multiple other target groups (Fisher, Fisher, & Shuper, 2014; Reis, Ramiro, de Matos, & Diniz, 2013; Ybarra, Korchmaros, Kiwanuka, Bangsberg, & Bull, 2013). The IMB Model proposes three fundamental determinants of condom use behaviour: (1) condom use information that is directly relevant to the practice of condom use behaviour; (2) condom use motivation involving attitudes toward condom use and social support of opposition for condom use, that incline the individual to employ condoms; and (3) condom use behavioural skills that make up the repertoire of specific skills which are necessary to enact condom use and perceptions of self-efficacy for doing so (Fisher & Fisher, 1992; Fisher, Fisher, & Shuper, 2014). …

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