Online Program

How condom discontinuation occurs: Interviews with emerging adult women

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Margo Mullinax, PhD, MPH, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York, NY
Stephanie Sanders, PhD, The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Barbara Dennis, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University School of Education, Bloomington, IN
Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH, Gender and Women's Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
J. Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH, School of Public Health, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
The most important factor related to condom failure is not breakage but “condom disuse.”  Studies have yet to explore precisely how condoms are not used for the first time. The study aims to investigated the point in relationships when condom use is discontinued.  Twenty-five women ages 18-25 participated in semi-structured interviews centered around three topic domains: partner interactions, contraceptive use, and STI prevention.  Analysis followed a critical qualitative research orientation.  First of all, emerging adult women’s rational for condom discontinuation in favor of hormonal methods became illuminated through study findings.  Participants actively sought the best options to prevent pregnancy, which was seen by most as hormonal methods, and described condom discontinuation in favor of hormonal methods as a smart decision. Most participants reported not wanting to continue to use condoms due to related physical discomfort during intercourse.  Rather than one point in time, when condom discontinuation occurred, it appeared to be preceded by a period of random and sporadic use.  Oftentimes, nonverbal communication around contextual instances of condom unavailability paved the way for discontinuation.  Participants said the decision to stop using condoms was not deliberate nor planned. Even after participants described themselves as not using condoms, sporadic condom use was normal (normally related to menses).  These periods of sporadic use may prove important intervention points in which to emerging adults need reinforcement of motivation to use condoms. This study provides a more detailed understanding of how and why emerging adults negotiate condom discontinuation interpersonally.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the particular stages, transitional points, and associated scripts that inhibit effective contraceptive use. Describe the interpersonal dynamics of condom discontinuation.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Margo Mullinax, Ph.D. M.P.H. is a postdoctoral fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Health Behavior from the School of Public Health at Indiana University and her master of public health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
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.

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