Factors influencing experienced and inexperienced college women's intentions to tell their partners to use condoms.
The objective was to identify the social and psychological determinants of intention to tell one's partner to use a condom during each and every sexual intercourse. In the fall of 1988 a sample of 101 female university students from a midwestern university completed a questionnaire based on the Theory of Reasoned Action. In addition to demographic and sexual history data, the questionnaire assessed intentions, attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, behavioral beliefs, outcome evaluations, normative beliefs, and motivations to comply. The 49 women who said yes to having had sexual intercourse were defined as experienced, and the 46 who responded no to this question were defined as inexperienced. Intention to tell one's partner to use a condom every time was accurately predicted from attitude and subjective norm (r = 0.59, p < 0.001); attitude was predicted from behavioral beliefs and outcome evaluations (r = 0.50, p < 0.001); and subjective norm was predicted from normative beliefs and motivations to comply (r = 0.64, p < 0.001). While intention was predominantly under normative control among sexually experienced women (those who had had sex at least once), intention was primarily under attitudinal control among sexually inexperienced women. The items in the cognitive structure underlying attitude and norm which differentiated intenders from nonintenders also differed between these two segments. Behavioral interventions can be developed by examining the determinants of the behavior using the theory of reasoned action. Since the determinants of intentions differed when experienced women were compared to inexperienced women, different intervention strategies may be necessary to increase intentions to tell their partners to use condoms in these different segments of the female college population.