Alcohol use, partner type, and risky sexual behavior among college students: Findings from an event-level study

Jennifer L. Brown, Peter A. Vanable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol use is prevalent among college students and may contribute to elevated rates of sexual risk taking. Using event-level data, the hypothesis that partner type would moderate the effect of alcohol consumption on condom use was tested. Sexually active college students (N = 330; 67% female) reported on characteristics of their most recent sexual encounter, including partner type, alcohol use, and condom use, along with measures of sex-related alcohol expectancies, sensation seeking, and typical alcohol use. Unprotected vaginal sex (UVS) was reported by 39% of the sample and 32% reported alcohol use prior to sex. For the complete sample, UVS was just as likely for non-drinking events as for events involving alcohol use. However, for sexual encounters involving a non-steady partner, alcohol consumption was associated with an increase in UVS, whereas rates of UVS did not vary by drinking status for encounters involving a steady partner. These effects remained in analyses that controlled for sex-related alcohol expectancies, sensation seeking, and typical alcohol use. Findings confirm that the effects of alcohol vary according to the context in which it is used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2940-2952
Number of pages13
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume32
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Condom use
  • HIV
  • Partner type
  • Risky sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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