Delay Discounting and Sexual Decision-Making: Understanding Condom Use Behavior Among U.S. College Students

Luke D. Mitzel, Matthew W. Johnson, Peter A. Vanable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Condoms provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases; however, condomless sex remains common among college students and intentions to use condoms do not consistently translate into condom use. This study tested which indicator of condom use intentions from a delay discounting paradigm of condom-protected sex best accounted for variance in condom use behavior. The sample consisted of 187 sexually active college students (51.9% female) who completed measures of condom use during vaginal and anal sex over the past three months and a decision-making paradigm regarding condom intentions with hypothetical sexual partners. In separate models, condom behavior was regressed on one of three indicators of condom intentions: initial intentions to use a condom, delay discounting of condom-protected sex, and overall area under the curve across all trials. Results showed that delay discounting of condom-protected sex best accounted for variance in absolute frequency of condomless sex, whereas initial intentions to use a condom best accounted for variance in relative proportion of condomless sex. Future research directions and implications for interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2605-2617
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • College students
  • Condom use
  • Delay discounting
  • Intentions
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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