Trauma, condom negotiation, and mental health: Configurations of risk
Background: Sexual assault (SA) and intimate partner violence (IPV) are related to an increased risk of engaging in unprotected sex and contracting HIV. This relation may be explained by deficits in condom negotiation or psychological sequelae associated with these traumas. However, little research has examined how SA and IPV, condom negotiation, and psychological factors interact to form configurations of risk that are related to unprotected sex. This study identifies these configurations among college students in the context of casual sex partnerships. Methods: Participants were a diverse sample of 275 college students (Mage = 20.05; 20% men). Twenty four percent and 47% of the sample reported experiencing SA or IPV, respectively. Condom negotiation was measured using the Condom Influence Strategy Questionnaire. Psychological variables examined were depression, anxiety, and stress; posttraumatic stress; relationship avoidance and anxiety; and sexual sensation seeking. Latent profile analyses were conducted to identify risk profiles among participants. Results: Based on fit indices, a seven-class solution was considered the best model. This solution included a Traumatized group. This group had a 34% and 76% probability of experiencing SA or IPV, respectively. They reported higher levels of psychological distress and the lowest rate of condom negotiation compared to the other groups. Additional analyses will be conducted to compare rates of condom use across groups. Conclusions: Results indicate that the relations between these constructs are nuanced. Public health professionals must take into account a constellation of factors when addressing HIV prevention efforts for those who have experienced SA and IPV.
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe how trauma experiences, condom negotiation, and psychological factors may interact to create constellations of risk for risky sexual behavior.
Keyword(s): Psychological Indicators, HIV Risk Behavior
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved in several programs and studies focusing on HIV prevention in under-served populations. I have both clinical and research experience working with individuals living with HIV as well as individuals who have experienced sexual trauma, intimate partner violence, and the related negative psychological sequelae. This research was conducted as a portion of my doctoral dissertation which examines the condom use of subgroups of young adults with different profiles of risk factors.
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.