Intention, Context, and Safe Sex: Australian Adolescents' Responses to AIDS

Authors

  • Jennifer Boldero,

    1. University of Melbourne
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    • 1

      This study was supported by a Commonwealth AIDS research grant, Australia. The authors are grateful for the comments provided by the anonymous reviewer of an earlier version of the paper and to Jock Norton for his contribution to this research. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. J. Boldero, Psychology Department, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.

  • Susan Moore,

    1. Monash University
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  • Doreen Rosenthal

    1. University of Melbourne
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Abstract

This study examined the applicability to condom use of Ajzen and Madden's (1986) theory of planned behavior by examining the predictors of intention to use a condom and actual condom use in a specific sexual situation. In a sample of 144 sexually active heterosexual males and females, limited support was found for the model. Intentions to use a condom immediately before a particular sexual encounter, and those assessed some time prior to this encounter were found to have direct and positive effects on condom use. In addition, perceptions of the disadvantages of condoms (a measure of attitudes to condoms in general) had direct negative effects on condom use and, together with perceptions of the advantage of condoms, also had indirect effects on condom use via prior intention. A number of the postulated predictors of safe sexual practice related neither to intentions nor behavior. The contextual variables of sexual arousal, condom availability, and degree of communication with a sexual partner all influenced condom use. Discussion centered on first, differences in the predictive ability of the model when compared to other studies of planned behavior, and second, the factors limiting the relationship between intention and behavior when the behavior in question is not under complete, volitional control.

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