Working memory moderates the association between condom use intentions and behavior among moderate-to-heavy drinking men who have sex with men

K. D. Tahaney, T. P. Palfai, P. Luehring-Jones, Stephen A Maisto, J. S. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Men who have sex with men (MSM) are a high-risk population for HIV infection and this risk is increased for those who consume alcohol. Condomless anal intercourse (CAI) is the central transmission risk factor for this population. This study examined whether individual differences in working memory moderated the association between intentions to use condoms and the frequency of CAI among MSM who engaged in anal intercourse over a subsequent 6-week period. Moderate- and heavy-drinking MSM (n = 207) completed questionnaires regarding alcohol use and condom use intentions and an operation span task to assess working memory at baseline. Participants then completed 6 weeks of morning surveys via a mobile phone app to assess anal intercourse frequency with and without condoms. Negative binomial regression analyses showed that the association between intentions to use condoms and episodes of CAI during the monitoring period was moderated by working memory such that intentions predicted CAI for those high in working memory but not those low in working memory. These results support the view that self-reported intentions may be less-likely to translate into health behaviors among those with poorer executive functioning skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this