184895 Impact of gender constructs and affect on risk reasoning and condom use

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lauren Salvatore , Psychology, Hunter College of the City of New York, New York, NY
Ronald Willoughby , Psychology, Hunter College of the City of New York, New York, NY
Marisol Flores , Psychology, Hunter College of the City of New York, New York, NY
Jason Young, PhD , Psychology, Hunter College of the City of New York, New York, NY
The condom is the main method currently utilized in the prevention of HIV but it is greatly underutilized with only 25% of women use a condom 100% of the time. Implications of mood, gender and gender constructs will be examined.

Research indicates that participants in negative mood use more rational decision-making protocol while participants in a positive or aroused mood make decisions based on heuristics and gut decisions in order to maintain their positive mood. Individuals' mood may play a role in how and if an individual decides to use a condom.

Heterosexual dating couples (n=60) were asked to read one of three scripts that served to induce positive, negative or aroused moods. Each couple was asked to give advice to a fictitious couple deciding whether to use a condom in a private, recorded discussion.

Participants were then provided with a copy of their initial recorded conversation and asked to listen to this recording and clarify and discuss their thought process on a second recorder. Transcripts were coded with 36 content codes.

Two-way ANOVA's were run on code frequencies for the main conversation, thought clarification and recall task. Significant differences for masculine and feminine participants were found the expression of feeling, characteristics of communication and risk taking. Mood states were found to impact communication characteristics.

The nature of the scripts used in this study may have superseded mood and caused a change in participant responses. Implications from this study may have an impact on safer sex education and advertising campaigns.

Learning Objectives:
1. Previous research on mood states and how this has affected safer sex advertising. 2. The sharing of a novel mood induction, which will be helpful to those seeking a tested and valid mood manipulation for research. 3. How mood state impacts the decision to use a condom and how this can be used to improve safer sex advertising and educational programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked under Dr. Young as the project director and a research assistant on this project for the last 2 years. The gender construct portion of the paper is my own addition and will be presented as my thesis. I have previously presented at APS as part of a group.
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.