176109 Sexual coercion, verbal aggression, and condom use consistency among college students' intimate relationships

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jennifer Elise Vanyur , Department of Human Services, Elon University, Columbia, MD
Cynthia Fair, LCSW, DrPH , Human Service, Elon University, Elon, NC
An increasing amount of evidence has shown that the presence of intimate partner violence (IPV) can put individuals in violent relationships at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), yet little research has investigated this issue among college students. Two specific categories of IPV, sexual coercion and verbal aggression, were examined since they are more prevalent in dating relationships than more severe physical forms of abuse, and they are also more likely to go unnoticed by those close to individuals experiencing these forms of IPV. A random cross-sectional sample of southeast undergraduate students was taken to collect information about sexual coercion and verbal aggression, in addition to related issues such as condom use and alcohol use. Of the 142 participants, 31.7% reported being victims of sexual coercion and 78% reported having verbally aggressive partners. Sexually active individuals who reported experiencing sexual coercion in their relationship were significantly less likely to consistently use condoms (r=-.349, p<.05). Additionally, participants who reported alcohol use before or during episodes of verbal aggression were significantly less likely to use condoms (r=-.215, p<.05). Alcohol use was also significantly associated with heightened incidents of coercion and aggression (r=.243, p<.05, r=.278, p<.01, respectively). The results of this study indicate that among college students, the presence of sexual coercion adversely affects condom use as does alcohol use. Health education classes for college students should use a holistic approach to relationship issues to achieve more effective prevention of STIs and IPV among college students.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the prevalence of sexual coercion and verbal aggression among college students. 2. Identify the connections between intimate partner violence, alcohol use, and condom use. 3. Discuss modifications to be made to current university health education programs to improve sexually transmitted infections and intimate partner violence prevention among students.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Condom Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research as part of an undergradaute research program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.