Predicting Condom Use in African American STD Patients: The Role of Two Types of Outcome Expectancies1


  • 1

    This study was conducted as part of the NIMH Multi-Site HIV Prevention Trial, a multi-site investigation of behavioral methods for preventing the further spread of HIV among a variety of high-risk populations (NIMH Grant # 5 UI0 MH 49062; Edward W. Maibach, P.I.). This research was supported in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to Catherine A. Sanderson. We thank Elizabeth Bennett, Kelly Ladin, Miriam Ruchman, and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on a draft of this paper.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Catherine A. Sanderson, who is now at the Department of Psychology, Green Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1010.


This study examined the association of two types of condom use outcome expectancies (self-approval and partner reaction) with patterns of safer sexual behavior among predominantly African American patients at a sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic. As expected, both individuals' own self-approval outcome expectancies and their partner reaction outcome expectancies predicted consistency of condom use, although partner reaction expectancies predicted condom use above and beyond the effects of self-approval expectancies. Furthermore, individuals who believed that they and their partner shared positive condom use outcome expectancies reported the greatest use of condoms. These findings suggest that HIV prevention programs should address both types of condom use outcome expectancies in order to maximize behavior change.