Attitudinal and Normative Factors as Determinants of Gay Men's Intentions to Perform AIDS-Related Sexual Behaviors: A Multisite Analysis1


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    This research was supported in part through cooperative agreements between the CDC and Departments of Public Health in Albany, New York (Agreement #U62/CCU201085), Denver, Colorado (U62/ CCU801086), and Seattle, Washington (U62/CCU001074).

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Martin Fishbein, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, IL, 61820.


The purpose of this study was to test the applicability of the theory of reasoned action as a basis for understanding and predicting gay men's intentions to perform AIDS-related sexual behaviors. A total of 314 self-identified gay or bisexual men from Seattle, Denver, and Albany participated in the study. They were asked to indicate their intentions to perform 15 specific sexual behaviors chosen to represent different degrees of risk of contracting AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, they were asked to respond to items measuring the attitudinal and normative considerations regarding each behavior. As expected, the results showed that the gay men's intentions were significantly predicted by the two factors. More interesting, it was found that, although attitudes are consistently the more important determinants of intentions for all the respondents, the importance of normative considerations varies across cities. This difference in normative considerations is interpreted in light of the differences in the structure of the three gay communities. Implications for designing sample-specific intervention programs are discussed.