Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Predictors of Intention to Use Condoms among University Women: An Application and Extension of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Predictors of Intention to Use Condoms among University Women: An Application and Extension of the Theory of Planned Behaviour

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to identify the variables that best predict whether or not young women intend to use condoms during their sexual encounters with new partners. One hundred and eighty-seven heterosexually experienced undergraduate women completed a questionnaire battery including variables to assess all components of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TOPB). The tops was a useful model for predicting intention to use condoms with a new partner. Prediction was improved beyond the TOPB by including specific beliefs (condom use demonstrates responsible sexual activity, condom use does not destroy trust), group norms, and birth control use (mediated by attitudes toward condoms). The practical implications for AIDS prevention programs designed to promote condom use among women are also discussed.

Resume

L'objet de la presents etude etait d'identifier les variables qui permettent de predire chez des jeunes femmes, l'intention ou non d'utiliser un preservatif au cours de leurs rapports sexuels avec un nouveau partenaire. Cent-quatre-vingt-sept femmes de premier cycle, heterosexuelles ayant eu des relations, ont rempli une serie de questionnaires notamment sur les variables permettant d'evaluer tous les elements de la theorie du comportement planifie. La theorie du comportement planifie est un models utile pour predire l'intention de se servir d'un preservatif avec un nouveau partenaire. L'inclusion des croyances particulieres (l'utilisation du preservatif demontre une activite sexuelle responsable, le preservatif ne mine pas la confiance), des normes de groups et l'utilisation d'une methods contraceptive (rationalise par les attitudes envers l'emploi du preservatif) ameliore la prediction de la theorie du comportement planifie.

Les consequences pratiques sur les programmes de prevention du SIDA conqus pour promouvoir l'emploi du preservatif chez les femmes sont aussi discutees.

AIDS was first identified in 1981 (see Shifts, 1988 for a detailed historical account of the early years of the AIDS epidemic). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide, 13.8 million women are living with HIV/AIDS, and 4.7 million women have died from AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic (1998). According to Health Canada and the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) both the absolute number of women with AIDS and the proportion of AIDS cases that are women have been steadily increasing, while the proportion of men with AIDS (and more specifically, gay or bisexual men with AIDS) has been steadily decreasing (Centers for Disease Control, 1988, 1990; Health and Welfare Canada, 1991; Health Canada, 1995, 1996). Indeed, in recent years, rates of HIV-infection have increased more rapidly among heterosexual women than any other segment of the population.

Women now represent approximately 43% of all adults living with HIV/AIDS (World Health Organization, 1998). A special problem faced by the present investigation, however, is the relative dearth of information on prevalence of AIDS and HIV among North American women enrolled in higher education. One notable study compared students at a large university on the American Eastern Seaboard, on HIV-1 status and known risk factors for HIV/AIDS transmission (Kotloff, Tacket, Clemens, et al., 1991). Of the 3,394 students surveyed, only two tested positive for HIV-1, and both were gay men who engaged in high risk sexual practices (Kotloff, Tacket, Wasserman, et al., 1991). Despite such a low base-rate of HIV infection, risky sexual practices and indicators were relatively common. These included history of previous sexually transmitted diseases, heterosexual anal intercourse, heterosexual intercourse with an individual at risk, and multiple (10 or more) partners.

In spite of the low base-rate of HIV infection, these behavioural trends clearly illustrate the need for HIV/AIDS prevention programs that target the safer sex behavioural choices of heterosexually active men and women. …

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