When Good Intentions Are Not Enough: Modeling Postdecisional Cognitive Correlates of Condom Use1


  • 1

    The authors wish to thank the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the British Council for Grant #JRP046 (awarded under the U.K.-Dutch Joint Scientific Research Programme to the first two authors), which funded the design work involved in this study. The authors thank Dinese Guy-Davies, Carly Jones, William Lawton, and Christine Rowe, who collected the data.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Charles Abraham, School of Social Sciences, University of Sussex-Brighton, Falmer, Brighton BNI 9QN, United Kingdom.


Measures of intention usually leave substantial proportions of the variance in behavior unexplained. It has been suggested that improved behavioral prediction could be achieved by identifying postdecisional cognitive processes capable of distinguishing between intenders who do act and those do not act. Condom-related self-report measures of postdecisional cognitive processes were developed and tested in a cross-sectional questionnaire study involving 447 heterosexual students. A discriminant function composed of postdecisional measures was found to significantly distinguish between intenders who reported use and non-use and to correctly classify 80% of intenders. The results indicate that measures of the relative importance of competing intentions, prior planning of specific preparatory actions, and action-specific self-efficacy may enhance the prediction of condom use among intenders.