Condom Use, Social Discounting, and Social-Temporal Sexual Discounting: The Roles of Social Distance and Delay on Condom Use in College Students

Date

2018

Authors

Wainwright, Katherine

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Abstract

College students' predicted condom use has been shown to vary by partner social distance, with closer social distance related to less frequent condom use. Condom use has also been associated with condom availability (i.e., delay), with people less likely to use a condom as delay increases. How people value condoms and other commodities, such as money, given changing variables (e.g., delay, magnitude of commodity) can be captured through a measure called delay discounting. The current research created two new measures of discounting to assess how people value condoms given social distance to a partner and a delay in condom availability. These two new measures, the Condom Use Social Discounting (CUSD) task and the Social Temporal Sexual Discounting (STSD) task, were shown to be both valid and reliable in a sample of college students. Ethnic differences were not found. Gender differences were found, with women predicting less condom use for the closest social distance and more condom use at the farthest distances, compared to men. Additionally, the CUSD and STSD showed predictive validity for several risky sexual traits and behaviors. Moreover, other discounting measures with money as the commodity, rather than condoms, did not predict the same outcome measures, showing differential predictive validity of the CUSD and STSD. However, the CUSD and STSD were not predictive of protective health behaviors, such as accessing healthcare.

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Department

Psychology