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Personal, Environmental, and Behavioral Factors Influencing Condom Use in Rural Youth

By Tammy Haley


Background: Almost half of all high-school students in the United States have had sexual intercourse. Adolescents engaging in unprotected intercourse are at risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI). Although rural adolescents participate in levels of sexual risk-taking similar to that of non-rural youth, few data are available identifying factors influencing condom use among rural adolescents. \ud Objective: The purpose of this study is to describe and identify personal, environmental and behavioral factors that predict condom use in rural youth in grades 9-12. \ud Method: A descriptive, correlational, comparative, cross-sectional survey was conducted in a high-school setting among adolescents (N=613), ages 13-19, in three rural school districts in the Northeast. Correlational analyses were used to examine associations among variables, logistic regression analyses were used to identify predictors of the outcome variable (high goals for condom use among all youth; condom use among sexually active youth).\ud Results: Predictors of condom use among sexually active youth included personal standards for condom use (Odds Ratio [OR] = 2.45; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 2.39-6.47), condom use goals (OR = 1.32; CI 1.21-1.45), condom use at first intercourse (OR = 3.93; CI 2.39-6.47) and male gender (OR = 3.17, CI 1.93-5.21) while increasing age (OR = .78, CI .63-.96) and the use of non-condom contraception (OR = .54, CI .32-.89) reduced the likelihood of condom use. Predictors of those having high goals for condom use among all rural youth include personal condom use standards (OR = 9.522; CI 6.46-14.01), self-efficacy for communication about condom use (OR = 2.182; CI 1.40-3.38), self-efficacy for refusing unwanted intercourse (OR = 1.379, 1.02-1.85), and norms for condom use (OR = 1.82; CI 1.38-2.39). \ud Conclusion: Fostering high goals for condom use and personal standards for condom use appear to predict actual condom use in this sample of rural adolescents. Interventions aimed at increasing condom use among rural youth could include focused strategies to target these predictors. Interventions delivered prior to the initiation of intercourse are likely to provide the greatest impact given the predictive nature of age and condom use at first intercourse.\u

Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:d-scholarship.pitt.edu:11987
Provided by: D-Scholarship@Pitt

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