142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Impact of perceived high levels of stress on non usage of condoms during sex among college students

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Samantha Bearman, MPH , University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Introduction: There is a paucity of research that specifically examines the non-use of condoms during sexual encounters as a maladaptive coping strategy for stress among college students; therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if there is an association between perceived high levels of stress and the decreased likelihood of condom use during sex among undergraduate students attending a large university in the southeastern U.S.

Method: Data for this secondary analysis originate from a larger study assessing the health behaviors of more than 7,000 students enrolled in fall 2013 courses. It's important to note that in past studies lower response rates from underclassman students have been observed. As a result, underclassman were purposely oversampled in the current study.  This analysis, focused on gaining a detailed understanding of students who choose sex as an unhealthy coping method for perceived high levels of stress, and the likelihood of condom use. The variables of interest are perceived stress (predictor variable), coping methods used to relieve stress, and condom use (outcome variable). Analyses are restricted to those respondents who have been sexually active within the last 30 days. The moderating covariates are gender and sexual orientation.

Conclusion: Results are pending; analyses will be finalized in April 2014 as part of a public health capstone research project. Study findings have the potential to inform university health service initiatives aimed at helping students adopt adaptive coping strategies for perceived high levels of stress and practice safe sexual behaviors, including condom use.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the relationship between stress and unprotected sex.

Keyword(s): Contraception, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am listed as a co-author on the data findings, and am conducting approved research for my capstone presentation with close communication with the lead researcher as well as my adviser. I am incredibly interested in stress, college health, and sexual health, and look forward to developing my presentation skills further. I am a successful Master's student, and have attended APHA several times and am confident in my ability to present accurately and effectively.
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.