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Usage Of A Condom By A Teenager Varies With Their Perception Of Partners

ansmitted diseases," says Lescano.

Prior studies have shown that adolescents use condoms significantly more often with casual partners (anyone you have sex with, but do not consider to be a main partner) than with main partners (someone you are serious about). Condom use, a primary method of sexual safety, has been associated with a variety of individual characteristics and attitudes, such as self-efficacy, personal beliefs, and perception of peer norms. There are also other motivations and attitudes that may shape condom use. For example, how adolescents define their partners (i.e. 'main' versus 'casual') may play a crucial role in determining their use of condoms, the authors state.

For instance, ten percent of those teens reporting having relationships with casual partners also reported living with a main partner. In addition, the authors found that teens whose main partners had negative reactions about condom use (they are uncomfortable etc.) were less likely to use condoms.

Adolescents in the 'main partner' group were more likely to be female while males were significantly more likely to report 'casual partners'. In addition, greater substance use and riskier attitudes were reported by teens in the 'casual partner' group.

HIV intervention programs that do not target adolescents' attitudes and practices related to casual sexual partners as compared to main partners may miss an opportunity to change their risk behaviours, the authors state.

"This study demonstrates the importance of understanding an adolescent's perception of partner types in order to design effective interventions," Lescano says.

Source: EurekAlert
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