Date of Award

7-31-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Ike Okosun, MS, MPH, PhD, FRIPH, FRSH - Chair

Second Advisor

Valerie Hepburn, PhD, MPA

Third Advisor

Karen Gieseker, PhD, MS

Abstract

Despite knowledge about the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), young adults continue to participate in sexual risk behaviors such as unprotected sexual intercourse. This study examines factors that influence condom use in adults aged 18-24 years in the United States. Using secondary data from the 1998, 2000, and 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the factors influencing condom use stratified by gender and study year. A p-value of <0.05 and 95% confidence intervals were used to determine statistical significance throughout all analysis performed. Univariate analysis found that increased age and being male were associated with increased odds of condom use. Multivariate analysis stratified by study year found that in 1998 increased age and unemployment was associated with increased odds of condom use. In 2000/2001, increased age was the only factor associated with increased odds of condom use. Being female was associated with decreased odds of condom use in that study year. When stratified by gender, only increased age was associated with increased condom use. The study results suggest that the factors influencing condom use vary between gender and year. Since different factors impact condom use for each gender, the interventions designed to increase condom use must be centered on those factors. Since age was one of the consistent factors positively associated with condom use, interventions must begin earlier to affect the decision-making processes of young adults.

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