Date of Award

12-16-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Christopher Henrich

Third Advisor

Laura Salazar

Abstract

The theory of planned behavior (TPB) is a useful model for understanding social-cognitive determinants (i.e. attitude, perceived norms, and perceived behavioral control) of sexual risk reduction among adolescents. However, research using the TPB has emphasized main effects and has not considered the possibility of moderated associations. In addition to testing main effects, this study assessed the interactions between TPB constructs and investigated the influence of previous sexual experience when predicting adolescents’ intentions to use condoms and delay sexual activity. Results indicate that the TPB functions differently depending on previous sexual experience and type of risk reduction behavior. Perceived norms were the only consistent predictor of intentions for condom use and delay. Attitude moderated perceived behavioral control when predicting condom use intentions among sexually experienced youth. However, no other interaction effects were detected. Future directions for research and implications for practice are discussed.

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