Frequency of condom use among female adolescents - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

Many adolescents are sexually active but do nothing to prevent sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy. Orr and colleagues studied condom use in sexually active female adolescents to identify predictors of condom use.

A total of 390 female adolescents aged 12 through 19 were recruited for the study during a visit for reproductive health care. Fifty-six percent of the study participants were white and 44 percent were black. Nineteen percent of the participants had genitourinary infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. Forty-six percent of the subjects reported having had more than one sexual partner during the past year.

Reported condom use for at least one specific reason (prevention of pregnancy, prevention of sexual transmitted disease or prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) increased as behavioral, emotional and sexually transmitted disease risk decreased, and as cognitive maturity and positive attitudes regarding condoms increased. After statistical adjustment for reported reasons for previous condom use, behavioral risk was the only additional factor associated with condom use at the most recent sexual encounter; subjects who participated in substance use and minor delinquency were less likely to have use a condom. Knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS and concurrent use of oral contraceptives were not related to condom use.

The authors believe that adolescents' perceptions about condoms, including knowledge of individual functions of condoms for contraception and for prevention of sexually transmitted disease, may be important factors in determining condom use. Engaging in unprotected intercourse may be part of a larger behavior domain that includes other unhealthy behaviors. (Journal of Pediatrics, February 1992, vol. 120, p. 311.)

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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