Diary study of sexual risk taking, alcohol use, and strategies for reducing negative affect in female college students.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The goal of this study was to examine motivations for engaging in risky sexual behaviors (RSBs) and factors that may increase the likelihood of engaging in RSB. RSB was defined as not using condoms during intercourse and having intercourse with poorly known partners, which were treated separately with regard to analyses. METHOD Utilizing a weekly diary methodology, the present study examined whether using situation-specific coping strategies (e.g, using alcohol to reduce negative affect and sex to reduce negative affect) and whether subjective reports of intoxication significantly predicted if participants would engage in RSB. Female college students (N = 93) completed a weekly computerized questionnaire for 8 weeks reporting on their sexual behavior, their level of intoxication, and use of strategies (i.e., sex and alcohol) to reduce negative affect at the time of the sexual encounter. RESULTS Using hierarchical linear modeling, results indicated that level of intoxication was the sole significant main effect related to engaging in RSB; specifically, level of intoxication was positively related to sex with a poorly known partner. CONCLUSIONS Alcohol use, as opposed to motivation for intercourse, is an important area to focus on with regard to prevention of RSB.

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Cite this paper

@article{Howells2014DiarySO, title={Diary study of sexual risk taking, alcohol use, and strategies for reducing negative affect in female college students.}, author={Nicolette L. Howells and Holly K . Orcutt}, journal={Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs}, year={2014}, volume={75 3}, pages={399-403} }